Monday, June 20, 2016

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Strawberries are officially in season (as far as my backyard garden is concerned), and this is the perfect summer treat to take to parties and potlucks.
Strawberry Yogurt Cake
Recipe from A Spicy Perspective

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
zest of 1 lemon (or use a lemon substitute)
2 1/2 c. flour, divided
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
1 c. powdered sugar

Sift together 2 1/4 c. flour, baking soda and salt.
Min in the lemon zest and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffly.
Beat in the eggs, one and a time.
Add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.
Alternate adding the flour and yogurt mixture, mixing after each addition, just until incorporated.

Toss strawberries with the remaining 1/4 c. flour.
Gently fold into batter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease and flour a 10" bundt cake pan, and pour in the batter.
Place in the oven, and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and the powdered sugar.
Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Corn Bread

I love cornbread.  It is a go to side dish at our house, and definitely isn't new here on the blog.  
However, I have three recipes, and two have been posted here before.  I thought it was time to consolidate, and explain my reasonings.

The first recipe (Creamed Corn Bread) is best.  It is moist, has great flavor and texture, makes for a better leftover, and overall we like it the most.

The second version (Corn Bread) I did away with completely until I found myself reverting back to it for certain recipes.  For example, I prefer it if the cornbread is paired with something else (like in this cornbread taco bake recipe), as opposed to being eaten alone.  It also works perfectly for any recipe that calls for a boxed corn bread muffin mix; (just omit the liquid ingredients and you've got the same thing).  If you don't have creamed corn to make the first version, this is the next best thing. 

The third version (Dry Corn Bread Mix) is excellent for camping/vacations.  You can toss everything in a bag and just add water when ready to bake.

Creamed Corn Bread
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. talk
3 eggs
1 can cream-style corn

Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; stir to combine.
Puree creamed corn in food processor or blender until smooth.
Whisk eggs lightly and add to creamed corn.
Pour corn/egg mixture into dry ingredients; stir until well blended.
Pour into greased 8x8" or 9x9" pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm or at room temperature with honey butter.

Corn Bread
1 c. flour
4tsp.  baking powder
1 c. corn meal
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. butter or shortening
1 c. milk

Combine dry ingredients and mix.
Add eggs, butter and milk, beating with a fork until barely smooth.
Pour into 8x8" or 9x9" greased pan.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Dry Corn Bread Mix
1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter powder
3 Tbsp. powdered milk
2 Tbsp. powdered eggs
1 1/3 c. water

Combine all ingredients except water and mix.
When ready to make, add water and mix until barely smooth.
Pour into greased 8x8" or 9x9" pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dutch Oven Cobbler

As summer approaches, I thought I'd share one of my all time favorite dutch oven desserts: COBBLER.
This recipe is SO EASY, making it perfect for camping or backyard BBQ's.  Fill with whatever fruit you desire (peaches and raspberries below), top with a sprinkling of cake mix, butter, and sprite.  Delicious!  The best part about this recipe is that you can't really mess it up.  Don't worry so much about proportions and measuring; just dump it in and put the lid on.  You wont be disappointed!
Dutch Oven Cobbler
Recipe from Sandy Bishop

6-8 c. chopped fruit of choice (I almost always use 2 quarts of bottled peaches)
1 boxed cake mix; white, yellow, chocolate, whatever you prefer.
1/4 c. butter
1 can sprite or 7-up

In a 12" dutch oven, layer the bottom with fruit (drained, if using canned).
Open a boxed cake mix and sprinkle the contents over the fruit (do not make the cake as directed, just use the powder in the mix).
Cut thin strips of butter and layer pieces over the cake mix.
Carefully pour 1/2 - 1 full can of sprite over everything.  You want it to be moist on the bottom, and dry on the top.

For Briquette cooking: 
10 coals on the bottom
14 coals on the top
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until fruit is bubbling up in places and the cake is browned on the top.

Or you can bake it in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.

Monday, May 30, 2016

{Homemade} Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Some of you have already tried my powdered cream of chicken soup substitute, which I love.  But I have lately started using this recipe as well.  I have found that it works better for certain things.  Both are a great addition to any recipe index, and if you haven't jumped on this bandwagon yet, you should.  You'll save yourself a bundle, and cut down on unnecessary ingredients.
This recipe makes the equivalent to 1 can of Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup.

Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup {Homemade}
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3/4 c. chicken broth
1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning (sage)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch dried parsley
pinch paprika
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. flour

In a medium saucepan, bring broth and all seasonings to a simmer.
Whisk milk and flour together in a separate container, and slowly pour into the broth mixture, whisking constantly.
Continue cooking, whisking occassionally until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Use in desired recipe.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Coconut Cream Berry Polenta

Step aside oatmeal, there's a new hot breakfast in town.  Polenta.
It may sound sketchy at first, but trust me, this delicious berry breakfast is packed full of flavor.
I've long since discovered the magical happenings of cooking any hot breakfast in milk rather than water, and this one takes it one step further.  Coconut milk provides sweetness and texture, which pairs perfectly with berries of any kind.  Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the top and you are good to go.

Coconut Cream Berry Polenta
Recipe modified from Edible Perspective

1 c. polenta (I use this)
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. toasted flaked coconut
berries of choice

In a medium sized pan, bring water and coconut milk to a simmer over medium high heat.
Whisk in polenta.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

After cooking, whisk in the coconut oil, honey, and salt.
Ladle into bowls and top with berries, toasted coconut, and extra coconut milk.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Brussel Sprout Cranberry Quinoa Salad

This all season salad is perfect for potlucks, a satisfying lunch, or a vegetarian dinner (if you are in to that sort of thing...).
I made a few modifications; subbing freeze dried cranberry slices for craisins, which cuts down significantly on the sweetness, but still adds that great pop of color, and I used almonds instead of pecans, since that is what I had on hand.  Like most salads, anything you choose to throw in or omit would work great.

Brussel Sprout Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Recipe modified from Gimme some Oven

2 c. quinoa, cooked
6 oz Brussel sprouts
3/4 c. freeze dried sliced cranberries (or craisins)
1 c. sliced almonds (or pecans)

1/2 orange (1/4 c. juice)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 Stevia packet (omit if using craisins)

Wash and trim ends of Brussel sprouts, and thinly slice.
Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk dressing ingredients together and drizzle over salad.
Toss to combine.
Serve cold or at room temperature.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Broccoli, Ham and Egg Bake

This easy throw together meal is perfect for a hearty breakfast, but I almost always serve it as a main dish for dinner.  I never measure anything but the eggs - just layer everything in a casserole dish, pour the eggs over the top and bake.  You can mix up the ratio of everything else, depending on how much meat, cheese or vegetable you want.

Broccoli, Ham and Egg Bake
Recipe modified from Focuseat

4-6 c. small broccoli flowerettes
1-2 c. diced ham
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1 can diced green chilies
salt and pepper to taste
10 eggs, well beaten

In a 9x13" casserole dish, layer broccoli on the bottom.
Top with diced ham.
Sprinkle mozzarella on top, as well as green chilies.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Mix eggs, and pour over everything.
Move things around slightly with a fork, so ensure the egg mixture seeps to the bottom and is coating everything.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until middle is firm and the eggs have set.