Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pistachio Cake

I went searching through my old file of try-it recipes yesterday and found this unusual marble cake recipe. I thought it might be pretty for St. Patrick's Day. Back in the 70's there was a popular cake recipe that circulated; it also included pistachio pudding mix and was called "Watergate Cake". This one sounds like it might have a little more flare since it includes orange juice and you swirl chocolate syrup through it to achieve the marbling. I think chocolate kisses or chocolate shavings might be nice on top!

Pistachio Cake
(came as a promo with Nordic Ware Bundt Pan-??year)

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 C orange juice
1/3 C cooking oil
1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix (3 1/2 oz.)
1/2 C commercial chocolate syrup

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, o.j., cooking oil and pudding mix; blend at low speed for 1 minute, then beat at high speed 3 more minutes. Pour 2/3 of the batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt Pan. Add chocolate syrup to remaining third of the batter and mix at medium speed until well blended. Pour over top of batter in pan. Marbelize by cutting through batter with knife. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out on wire rack or serving plate to complete cooling. Top with chocolate glaze.

BRAG MOMENT: My first daffodils are in bloom this morning!!

The Shabby Nest
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Home is Where My Story Begins
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Ann Kroeker
Amy's Finer Things

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu for Cleaning Out Vegetable and Fruit Bins

I just realized that I have a lot of fresh produce in my bins that I need to incorporate into our menu this week. We can all benefit from adding more fruits and vegetables, right?! So here's the plan.

Asparagus soup
Pork roast with roasted rosemary vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery)
Fruit salad (this will be used as dessert and several snacks this week)

Baked chicken over salad greens (sliced carrots, tomatoes, green onion)
Oven-toasted wheat buns

Cheese ravioli with meat sauce
Steamed bag of spinach
Wheat garlic bread

Pancakes or French Toast
Scrambled eggs w/ bacon bits
Fruit plate

Roasted turkey breast
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes/baked with butter and cinnamon
Green beans
(bake an apple crisp for the weekend-using 1/2 bag of leftover apples)

Warmed apple crisp
Milk/hot tea

Turkey sandwiches
Macaroni salad
Baby carrots

Wedge salad
Tuna Casserole
Parkerhouse rolls


Adventures in Texas: Went to a great birthday party at the neighbors' yesterday to celebrate their 2-year-old's birthday and the church dedication of their baby. The party included pony rides for the little ones, as well as, rides on a little train pulled by........a John Deere tractor!! Love it!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

This past weekend my sweetie surprised me with dinner at Truluck's and later a movie in Southlake Town Square. Since Valentine's Day landed in the middle of the week, we planned to celebrate this weekend, but I didn't have a clue that he had made such wonderful plans! Dinner at Truluck's is always a treat. After we enjoyed the warm, homemade Italian and Walnut Bread, Hubby chose the Sea Bass and I had Salmon. Both types of fish were served over a delicious combination of potatoes with garlic, green onion and Parmesan cheese. Our dessert was a 4-layer chocolate cake with strawberries and "Godiva sauce" over the top! Amazing meal!
That evening when I got home, I jotted down on an index card all of the flavors that I could detect in that potato dish. I'm certain that mine is the "backwoods cousin" of Truluck's version of this recipe. Their menu items are prepared by a trained chef who I'm sure uses only the best ingredients (such as a block of aged Parmesan, instead of Kraft in a can!) But, I have to say that when I fixed my potato "Truluck's-wanna-be" dish to have with our pork chops last night, both husband and son loved it. It went on a permanent card to be placed in my permanent file. I'm happy to share it with you today:

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

3 C prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C Kraft Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced fine
salt to taste

Spray a square glass casserole with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread evenly in casserole dish. Cover with foil and place in preheated 400 degree oven until bubbly and slightly brown around the edges. Uncover for last 10 minutes of baking until it's golden on top. Sprinkle top with black pepper to serve.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Snickers Candy Bar Pie

I have promised a great chocolate recipe from my files this week and here it is!! This is what used to be called an, "icebox pie". This pie features my all-time favorite candy bar, Snickers. I have a list of sinfully-tempting items that I don't usually keep in the house, and Snickers bars are on that list. But, it's Valentine's Day and all bets are off. I say, "Keep your friends close....and your chocolate closer!" Happy Valentine's Day. :0)

Snickers Candy Bar Pie

Need 1 graham cracker pie crust (store-bought or homemade).
4 oz. cream cheese
1 TBSP milk
1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip
2 bars (2 oz. each) Snickers(chopped)
1 3/4 C cold milk
1 pkg. (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding

-Mix together 4 oz. softened cream cheese with 1 TBSP milk in a bowl until smooth.

-Gently stir in 2 C Cool Whip and 2 large snickers candy bars (chopped up). Set aside.

-In another bowl, pour 1 3/4 c milk. Add 1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding. Beat for 1 minute. Gently fold in 1/2 C Cool Whip.

-In pie crust: Spread 1/2 the pudding mixture. Next, spread cream cheese mixture over pudding. Top with the rest of the chocolate pudding. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Put rest of Cool Whip on top.
If for some strange reason you do not like Snickers (or you are allergic to nuts) you may use Milky Way or other favorite candy bar. Enjoy!

Fingerprints on the Fridge
Designs by Gollum
Grocery Cart Challenge
Ann Kroeker
Comfy in the Kitchen
Home is Where My Story Begins
Simply Sweet Home
Shabby Nest

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Freezer- Ready Biscuits

Here's that recipe for biscuits that are similar to the bag of frozen Pillsbury-type biscuits from the grocery store. These are great because you make them at home and they are cheaper. Please let me know how you like them.

Make Ahead Biscuits
(recipe from a mom or grandma of one of Aunt Sis' Typing students)

instant non-fat dry milk
2 C shortening (Crisco!)
2 C sugar
6 pkg. yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 TBSP baking powder

-Prepare 2 quarts of dry milk according to the box directions. Pour into a sauce pan and heat until scalded. Add shortening and sugar; stir until dissolved. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. Combine enough flour with milk mixture to make it the consistency of pancake batter. Let dough rise for 2 hours.
-Stir in salt, soda, baking powder and enough flour to make a soft, not sticky, dough; mix well. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness with a round 3-inch cutter.
- Place on greased cookie sheet and freeze immediately. Transfer to plastic bags and seal. Store in freezer until ready to bake.
-Place desired number of biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven (this can vary depending on your oven) until brown. You may bake these right from the freezer or let stand for 10-15 minutes before baking. Will keep in freezer for 6-8 weeks.

Adventures in Texas: I found Jalapeno Cheese Bread at a local deli. Had never seen bread like this before; swirled with flecks of green pepper and crusted with cheddar. Love it for roast beef sandwiches! It's a Texas thang!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

My Weekly Menu Plan

I've got plenty to do today and have to get off to a running start, so here's my menu for the week. Tomorrow I'll be sharing a recipe that lets you make your own "Pillsbury-type" freezer biscuits. I love the convenience of biscuits that go from freezer -to-oven, and these have no preservatives and are cheaper! Look for that recipe on here in the morning. Have a great day!

Monday, Feb. 6
Chicken Sloppy Joes (search my archives)
Hash Brown Casserole

Tues., Feb. 7
Vegetable Stew

Wed., Feb. 8
Blueberry pancakes
Fruit plate

Thurs., Feb. 9
Vegetable plate

Fri., Feb. 10
Grilled steak with mushrooms and onions
mashed potatoes

Sat., Feb. 11
French toast
link sausage
citrus plate

Eat out

Sun., Feb. 12
Toasted turkey/Provolone sandwiches
Lettuce/tomato/red onion
baby carrots

Leftover Buffet!