Monday, May 4, 2015

taco DIP

• 2 lbs lean ground beef
• 2 packets (1 oz each) taco seasoning mix
• 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
• 1 (16 oz) container sour cream

• 4 medium to large avocados
• Juice of 4 limes
• 3-4 jalapenos chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic
• ½ Large red onion, chopped
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1 packet ORTEGA guacamole seasoning
• (let the guacamole sit one hour before eating)

• 2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
• 1 bag shredded lettuce
• 1 bunch fresh green onions, sliced
• 4 vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced

1. In a heavy skillet, combine ground beef with 1 packet of taco seasoning. Stir well and cook on medium until cooked through. Drain. Combine cooked beef with refried beans and set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream and 1 packet of taco seasoning mix. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, place peeled and seeded avocados and mash well. Add lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, kosher salt, garlic and seasoning. Set aside
4.In a 9x13 or similar size serving dish, evenly spread the beef/bean mixture on bottom. Continue layering in the following order: sour cream mixture, guacamole, and shredded cheese, and lettuce. Top evenly with a layer of green onions and tomatoes. Wrap tightly, keep chilled, and serve with hearty corn chips. (instead of the tomatoes and onions I topped it with leftover pico de gallo, which I added to the end and is entirely optional)

Homemade Taco Seasoning: (I used a couple batches of this instead of the packet stuff)
• 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
• 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
• 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
• 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
• 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
• 1/2 tsp. Paprika
• 1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
• 1 tsp. Sea Salt
• 1 tsp. Black Pepper
• Ingredients
• 3-6 large diced tomatoes
1 diced medium sized onion
¼-1 bunch of cilantro (use more or less depending on your taste)
juice of 1-2 limes
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tsp of salt
2 jalapenos (or more if you prefer it hotter), I have also used a couple of TBS of jarred jalapenos chopped plus the juice they are in
(let sit at least an hour before eating)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Soft Pretzels

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F /45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt or 4 Tbs sugar and 1tsp cinnamon (for cinnamon sugar pretzels)
garlic butter would also be good for a savory pretzel

Directions: 1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner (you can roll each piece to about half the length then go back and finish rolling so that the one you started with has rested awhile and will roll more easily).
4.Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Lay the pretzel on a paper towel just long enough to turn it back onto your cookie sheet. This way they didn't puddle in the excess water and it's easy to reshape them parchment covered baking sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes. (you will need to put 6 pretzels per baking sheet)
5. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes (in top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of oven) switch baking trays halfway through baking, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Coconut Dream cake

I have also called this my "Better than Bunny Cake" recipe. I really think the coconut in the frosting and toasted topping makes this cake.

1 box Moist Supreme Classic White Cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup of the Cream of coconut
-Set oven to 350 degrees
-prepare 9X13 pan with butter and flour so cake mix will not stick, or cupcake pan with baking liners
-Bake for 34-38 min for 9X13, or 18-23 min for cupcakes
-let cool

While cake is cooling and oven is still on toast sweetened flaked coconut at 350 for 5-10 min stirring occasionally. This is easiest if you do a think layer of coconut on a cookie sheet. set oven time for 5 min. Check and stir, then do 1-2 min increments after this while keeping a close eye on it. It WILL burn very quickly if forgotten about.

-Next, once cake is cool, mix your cool whip and about 1 cup of the cream of coconut (can add a little more to taste)-frosting will be a little runny the more you add. Frost 9X13 pan with cool whip and top with toasted coconut or frost cupcakes using 1Tbs. of the frosting mounding it in the middle slightly and topping with toasted coconut. Refrigerate before and after serving.

-Makes one 9X13 or about 30 cupcakes.

Thank you Jordan for originally making this cake and giving me the recipe. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pistachio Swirl Cake with Fluffy Frosting

CAKE Ingredients:
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio
pudding mix
1 cup water
2 packages instant jello pudding mix (I used pistachio, but chocolate would work too)
2 Cups 2% Milk
1 tub of Cool Whip
Ready in 1 hour
Servings 14
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3/4 cup chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs. mix well. Pour half of the batter into a separate bowl. 

Next, Mix the chocolate syrup into half the batter, and the box of pistachio pudding mix into the other half of the batter. Pour the pistachio flavored batter into the prepared pan. Pour the chocolate batter over the top of the batter in the pan. Insert a butter knife and swirl slightly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool. Remove cake from pan and prepare frosting: Beat 2 cups of milk into two packages of jello pudding mix with a mixer until smooth and thick 3-5 min. Fold in entire container of cool whip. Top cake and refrigerate. ENJOY!!!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blueberry-Lemon Crumble cake

For the streusel:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1Tbs.fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint fresh blueberries (rinsed and dried)
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan or springform pan.

First to make Streusel...

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Toss 1/2 blueberries with 1 TBS flour and fold these blueberriesi into batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out. Add remaining blueberries to the top of the cake batter in an even layer. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. (mine took closer to 60-70 min to get the center to cook completely) . Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
(this recipe was adapted from a food network recipe from the Barefoot Contessa at home)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Sangria

1/2 Cup (4ounces) limoncello
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries or blueberries
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (750 milliliter) bottle Prosecco or dry sparkling wine chilled
1/2 bottle sweet Moscato wine chilled

In large pitcher combine washed fruit, lemonade concentrate and limoncello. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to 24 hours to blend flavors.

Just before serving add Prosecco and Moscato wine.

Serve in glasses over ice.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Birthday New York Cheesecake with Raspberry topping

 Just out of the oven without topping. I like to serve topping on the side, so the cheesecake doesn't get mushy. Also as you can tell I am not really obsessed with not cracking my cheesecake, because it pretty much tastes the same either way!
This is one of my favorite cheesecakes to make. It has a nice lemon flavor that goes well with any berry topping. Also, It always bakes perfectly if you just follow the directions! A side note about springform pans: My favorite is from pampered chef, and is what is pictured here. It has metal sides, but a  tempered glass bottom, so when you cut the cake it doesn't scratch. It is very reasonably priced and my favorite cheesecake-making accessory!

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature (5- 8oz squares)
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons) and Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup red jelly (not jam), such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
3 half-pints fresh raspberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss the raspberries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Measure your springform pan. The bottom of mine measures 9 inches, but it says 9 1/2. I put the springform pan on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven to catch any leaks.
This recipe is adapted from a food network/barefoot Contessa recipe.