Friday, October 23, 2009

Taco Fridays

Let's be honest...I don't do Taco Fridays. I have a cousin that does, it's his tradition with his kids. I do pizza or breakfast-for-dinner on Fridays. Though tonight I think we're having left-overs because I'm craving last night's clam chowder!


Taco Fridays would be a great tradition for you to start, k?

Here's a great recipe for you to use in your upcoming Taco Friday's a slow cooker recipe...see, even better.

Friday Tacos

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 anaheim peppers, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 cup salsa, whatever type you prefer
Garnish with cilantro, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.

Place oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes. Add in beef, salt and pepper. Cook until browned. Stir in salsa and transfer to slow cooker on low heat. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or until everyone is home and ready to start Taco Fridays. Serve with toppings on either a hard taco shell or wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Birthday Cake

I've discovered that if you are going to do a fondant, marshmellow is the way to go. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, even better!

1 Box devils food cake
1 can cherry pie filling
1 small tub sour cream
2 eggs

Mix cake mix, eggs and sour cream together as best you can (it will be dry). Fold in cherries. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

go here for the best one Spread on cake and let cool in the fridge until its slightly stiff.

16 oz. White mini marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
2-4 Tbs. Water
2 lbs. Powdered sugar
1/2 cup Good Brand Shortening (this is very unlike me, but the brand with trans fat (not crisco or smart balance) works better

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave: put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total.
Now grease your hands (or mixer) GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle.
Adding about a cup of sugar at a time, start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Regrease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is too dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes about 8 minutes (if doing by hand) to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.

Add food coloring to the fondant and knead in. technically you should use the special icing coloring gel that comes in jars. You can get it at most craft stores or online. I just used regular cheap liquid stuff (I didn't need any vibrant colors) and added more sugar. If you are doing it all one color you may add the coloring in the very beginning when you are melting your marshmellows.
Roll out onto greased surface to the size you need and add on top of already iced cake that has been sprayed with a water bottle. Otherwise your fondant will not stick.

This recipe makes a lot! I had about 1/4-1/3 of the fondant leftover.

If this is confusing there are a lot of videos you can watch on YouTube. That's where I went to cake decorating school one night last week.

To make the flowers on top, I rolled out the fondant and used a cookie cutter. I then let them dry out on the counter overnight in an egg shell carton so that they wouldn't be flat.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Menu Muse

Dear blog,

I'm in a funk. I've gotten bored of my recipes. My menu contains at least two dinners this week that involve nothing more than appeasing myself and the children with mundane repetitions of their favorites, you know - spaghetti, pasta salad, pizza...

I want to be more creative, I really do, but for some reason (perhaps the fact that I'm tired or chasing babies) I can't seem to find my muse.

Oh, wait...nevermind.

Add a little seasoned chicken, water, cilantro, sugar, honey mustard...over some steamed jasmine rice...

Heaven! Thanks!


Cilantro-Mustard Chicken
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 water
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup honey mustard

Saute chicken until browned, add all other ingredients and simmer until chicken is done. Serve over jasmine rice (brown rice would be good too). The kids loved this dish, even with the green flecks in it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween Recipes

There is not too many things I make for Halloween. When I do make them however I will post them.
Until then, please refer to HERE or HERE for Halloween treat ideas that I do not have the time to make right now!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

T is for Tilapia

Several years ago I decided to integrate more seafood into our menus. That was when I was living closer to a shipping hub and we could purchase great seafood for a really decent price. Here in the middle of nowhere we're lucky to get a good deal on frozen seafood. It's sad, really sad.

We've managed to get tilapia more frequently than salmon or halibut and the kids have really fallen in love with it. It's easy to cook and has a very slight fishy flavor/smell. Though it's not my favorite fish, it's usually easy to find and it's cheap.

Cilantro-lime Tilapia

4 Tilapia fillets
4 tsp olive oil
juice from 2 limes
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
4 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Brush fillets with olive oil. Squeeze lime juice over fillets. Sprinkle garlic and cilantro over fillets. Broil in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

While fish is broiling, place spinach in a microwavable bowl with minced garlic and cook until leaves are tender. Spoon spinach onto plate, add fish fillet, top with chopped tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

You know those recipes you make over and over again for years? This is one of my family favorites.

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

1/4 lg onion, diced
4 cups chicken, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pimento (1 jar)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 frozen biscuits, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 11x7 casserole dish.

Saute onion and chicken in pan until cooked. Combine onion, chicken, soup, sour cream, milk, and pimento in a medium bowl and mix well.

Spoon into prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle baked layer with 3/4 of the cheese, place biscuits on top, sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake until biscuits are golden brown and sauce is bubbly, about 20 minutes longer.

Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Best Breakfast Cake

This is seriously our favorite breakfast cake. It is very moist and delicious! This picture doesn't really show the yumminess, just try it.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Cake
A Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook from the 80's.
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
Sifted powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and butter with an eletric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add half the flour, the eggs, milk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat about 2 minutes or until well mixed.
Beat in remaining flour on low speed until well mixed. Spread batter evenly into an oil-sprayed 13x9 in pan. Spoon preserves in 8 to 10 portions on top of batter. With a knife, marble preserves into the batter lightly.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar on top. Serve warm.