Saturday, August 30, 2008

Such a great pound cake!

7-UP Pound Cake
(mine was Sprite cake I guess!)


  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 t. 7-Up
  1. Cream together butter and sugar for 20 minutes. (20!?) I did mine in my KitchenAid for about 6 minutes on medium high- who has 20 minutes?)
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Add flour, mixing until combined.
  4. Add lemon extract.
  5. Fold in 7-Up.
  6. Pour into well-greased bundt pan or tube pan. (12 cup).
  7. Cook at 325 for about 50 minutes to an hour, or until top and sides look healthily browned. (Mine took about an hour and 5 minutes)
  8. Cool, remove carefully from bundt pan by loosening with spatula first, pour on glaze, and eat.
We all LOVE this cake. It is a great snack cake. A piece here, a chunk's light, refreshing, and delicious. The lemon flavor is not overpowering but wonderfully aromatic and flavorful. The glaze adds the right amount of interest to the cake. It is like pound cake in density, but it manages to be light. Yum.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Thai dish!

Chicken Sate Saute
(pillsbury 2001)
  • 12 oz. uncooked linguine (I use angel hair)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or less)
  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into strips for stir frying (I used 1 breast)
  • 2 Tbl. oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1/4 t. garlic powder)
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbl. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbl. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (next time I'll cut back to 1/3 c.)
  • 2 Tbl. chopped fresh cilantro (I skipped but if you like it it would be great!)
1. Cook linguine to desired doneness. Drain; cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine curry powder and salt; mix well. Place chicken strips in medium bowl. Sprinkle with curry mixture; toss to coat. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onions; cook 3-4 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Add garlic; stir to combine. Add chicken; cook 5-7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove chicken mixture from skillet; place on plate.
4. In same skillet, combine coconut milk, lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and pepper flakes; mix well. Bring just to a boil. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Increase heat to high; cook 6-8 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Add chicken mixture; cook 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

5. To serve, arrange cooked linguine on a serving platter. Top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro. Makes 6 servings.

Thanks for the recipe Kelly. It was a good dish! Russell has a hard time adding peanut flavor to the type of dish he really enjoys, but he enjoyed it mostly. He said if he didn't love the regular yellow curry dish so much he could move on to additional flavors. As for me, I thought it was a taste-pleaser. Definitely more kid-friendly because of it not being spicy and also being a bit sweet and peanutty. Anika liked it. The others didn't try it. Maybe next time!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
**kids didn't like!**
(adapted from, photo from flickr)

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used 1 t. garam masala instead)
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (I used only a dash-it's already spicy enough!)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I cut half a teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I used a dash of ground ginger)
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 long skewers (naah...though probably would taste great!)

  • 1 jalepeno, chopped fine (I skipped)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1/2 t. garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 t. garam masala
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we skipped)

1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, and ginger. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side (I put in the crock pot covered in above marinade to save time and loved it).
3. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute.
4. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and garam masala.
5. Stir in tomato sauce and coconut milk.
6. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
7. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with rice. Feeds 4 hungry adults.

This was a lot like the Crock Pot Indian Chicken I posted a few weeks ago but this is richer and creamier and just a bit longer to make. We had always thought curry was in all Indian food but not this one or the last one I made. Russell loved this, and I thought the flavors were exotic and fun too. But he loved it. He is definitely on a big Indian kick right now. I used the reviews on this recipe from allrecipes to create the right recipe for us, and we were pleased! I still love the Yellow Curry Chicken best, but Russell says this and the YCC both tie for 1st place.

Though the list of ingredients seem long, this really didn't take that long to make. The crock pot did the work, and the yogurt marinade made it really tender and flavorful.

Herb Bubble Bread/Braid Twist

Herb Bubble Bread
  • 1 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1 1/2 t. yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 c. flour

  • Herb Topping: (you can use whatever herbs/amounts you like- I'll use more next time)
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 1 T. parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. garlic salt
  • 1/4 t. parsley
  • 1/4 t. rosemary
  • 1/4 t. thyme
  • 1/4 t. sage
  • 1/4 t. chives
  1. Make dough your preferred method. I have a bread machine, so I just take it out after the 1 1/2 hour dough cycle.
  2. Make walnut size pieces of dough, rolling in herb butter mixture, then placing in greased bundt pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until done.
Next time I will try braiding the dough into one loaf and then pouring the butter mixture on top, then sprinkling on the herbs.

Monday, August 18, 2008

BBQ Chicken Salad with BBQ Lime Cilantro Dressing

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad
  • 3 cups lettuce of choice (I like Romaine)
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • sliced red onion
  • sliced avocado
  • handful grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cooked grilled chicken breast (I cook mine with bbq sauce in crock pot)
  • ¼ cup BBQ Sauce
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese
Ranch dressing
1. Place lettuce into a salad bowl. Layer with corn, black beans and tomatoes. Dice cooked chicken breast and mix with BBQ sauce. Top over salad and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with ranch dressing or dressing below.
This makes about 2 servings. Adjust ingredients as needed/desired!


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tespoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Quick Danish-y pastries!

Cream Cheese Squares (
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down. Pour the melted margarine over the entire pan. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and golden.
I've had this recipe for about a year and we really enjoy it. I usually half the recipe and bake it in a 9-inch round pan. You don't need all the melted butter; just a few tablespoons to cover the top crust.

I love cream cheese danishes and this is an incredible version that is pretty cheap and very tasty! It is best served cold. Oh....and a little goes a long way!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Delicious Alfredo!

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (I use Neufchatel)
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • dash of pepper
  • 2/3 c. parmesan cheese (I use Kraft Parmesan in the green container)
  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine.
  2. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, whisking until smooth.
  3. Add milk slowly, blending it in to sauce.
  4. Add parmesan and pepper, cooking a few more minutes until desired consistency.
I have had this recipe for several years now and it is so good! You can use whatever additions you like. We like chopped tomatoes with broccoli or spinach. Diced chicken works great with those veggie combinations as well. But my kids just like their white sauce, well, white. So we just add the veggies for the adults. Sad, yes, but hopefully their taste buds will mature...

Also, good rolls taste great dipped in this sauce!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Two Zuke recipes compared

Zucchini Casserole (
  • 4 cups sliced yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 35 buttery round crackers, crushed
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions. In a small bowl, mix together eggs and milk, then add to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Zucchini Casserole 2

  • 4 ounces herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 4 cups cubed zucchini (I sliced mine)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl combine stuffing and butter. In a separate bowl combine zucchini, carrots, onion, soup and sour cream. Mix in 1/2 of the stuffing mixture, then spread into a 9x12 inch casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining stuffing on top.
  3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes (mine took 10-15 minutes longer, so slice thin! You can also saute zuke and onion in a skillet for 5 minutes and cut of 30 min of oven time).
These were both good ways to use zucchini. Russell and I enjoyed the second recipe best; the one with stuffing and cream of chicken soup. The first one is worth making again too, but we liked the flavor of the second better. It also held up better second day. The first recipe kind of gets soggy with the crackers and the moisture from the zucchini.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Moist Blueberry Pound Cake

  • 1 box Butter Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I sprinkled brown sugar in this amount on pan and on top of cake instead)
  • 3/4 cup oil (I did about 1/2 cup oil and the rest water)
  • 3 large eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups blueberries (mine were frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a Bundt pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, sugar, and sour cream.
  4. Add eggs, mixing well. Stir in vanilla and sprinkle in salt.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto serving tray to completely cool.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
I have a few recipes for blueberry pound cake, but this was the least fattening with results not noticeably different! It is very moist and a cake that feels like you can snack on it all day. And with the healthy blueberries, why not? If you like cinnamon streusel this could be a good cake to add it to, swirling it in the middle of the cake. Yum...I'll do that next time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

How can you go wrong?

Grasshopper Pie

  • 1 store bought oreo pie shell (or make one at home)
  • 1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • cool whip
  • caramel (optional)
  • hot fudge sauce
  • coursely crushed oreo cookies (optional)
  1. On the bottom of the pie shell, drizzle caramel and hot fudge sauce.
  2. Soften ice cream, and scoop into the pie shell until 3/4 of the way full.
  3. Top with cool whip and top that with the oreo cookies.
  4. Drizzle more caramel and hot fudge sauce and put back in the freezer to firm up.
This is a great dessert. You really can do whatever you want with it; do a different ice cream, crush chocolate chip cookies for the crust, whatever you like. I like to make it in a cake pan so there is more room to work with. I also like making my own crust from crushed oreos and a little butter.
Let it soften before serving for optimal taste. Mmmmmm..

Another great variation: bake a chocolate cake mix using a cookie sheet. Follow all instructions on box, but only cook it for about 15-18 minutes. After cool, top with fudge sauce and then scoop out softened ice cream (about 10 cups ice cream). We like mint choco chip or strawberry. Cover that with whipped cream and freeze. This is another easy winner that feeds 20-30, depending on how many you need, how tall you stack ice cream.

Another unique dish!

Crock Pot Indian Tomato Chicken and Rice
(serves 2 adults well)
  • frozen chicken pieces--enough to feed your family (I used 1 big breast)
  • 1 can tomatoes (I used crushed)
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t ground coriander (I didn't have, but garam masala has coriander in it)
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t garam masala (1/2 t to add now, 1/2 later. You can buy this at the grocery store in the McCormick "gourmet" collection. It's a combination of coriander, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cardamom. Used to flavor Indian dishes)
  • 1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • cooked rice
  1. Put your chicken pieces into the crock pot and add the can of tomatoes and all of the spices, minus 1/2t of the garam masala.
  2. Don't add the yogurt yet.
  3. Cook on high for 2 12 hours or until chicken is done.
  4. 30 minutes before serving, stir in the yogurt, and taste. Add the other 1/2 t. of garam masala, or to taste.
  5. Serve over rice.
This was another good Indian dish! I am really liking these interesting spices. Changes things up a bit. The kids liked dipping rolls into the sauce and didn't think it was too spicy. They are not rice fans. The sauce was good, but I thought it might need a little sugar? I just have taste buds that really like sweet things. But we enjoyed this.