Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clementine Pie and I Don't Care

Actually I DO care about this pie-it was delicious! I had a bag of clementines that were starting to turn. I asked on Facebook if anyone had a recipe for this fruit they could share. The one response that caught my attention was the pie suggestion from Nancy Platt via The Kansas City Star. I was a little hesitant as I hadn't made a citrus pie in the past and wasn't sure how this would turn out. I was pleasantly surprised as it was awesome! Hope you like it too!

Clementine Pie
(Serves 8)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

The Crust
You can either buy a pre-made Graham Cracker Crust like I did, or make your own. Follows recipe for homemade:

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter

Combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until blended well. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a  9" pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

The Filling
Juice and zest of 8 clementines
1  14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks

In a small saucepan, bring clementine juice to a boil and reduce until approximately 1/3 cup remains. Allow to cool.

Once cooled, add to mixing bowl containing whisked sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Stir in the clementine zest. 

Pour mixture into cooled graham cracker crust.

Bake for 30 minutes, but I would check at 20 minutes.

Allow to cool then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I left it overnight.

The Garnish
You can use leftover clementine slices, if you have any and I put whipped cream on individual slices.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hamburger Soup

This soup has been a family favorite for years. Funny thing is, I seem to keep losing the recipe and just make it up as I go along. After all, aren't those the best recipes?

1 lb. ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix (can use 1/2)
2 cups beef stock
1-10 oz package of frozen mixed vegetables
3/4 cup cooked al dente elbow macaroni

Brown ground beef and season with pepper.
Combine next 5 ingredients in large pot.
Add ground beef.
You may add water if not 'soupy' enough for you.
Simmer for about an hour.
Add cooked macaroni and simmer for another 10 minutes as you don't want them to get soggy.

Oven Chicken Fajitas

I was in the mood for Mexican food and for some reason I really wanted fajitas, but not the mess. I found a recipe for fajitas made in the oven and was intrigued. I put it together and was pleasantly surprised.

Oven Chicken Fajitas

3 chicken breasts
3 bell peppers of any color
1 medium onion
Mushrooms (optional and however many you like)
1/2 package fajita seasoning ( I thought that was enough, but it is up to you.)
Olive Oil
Flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice everything into strips.
Place on non-stick foil lined baking sheet or pan with lip.
Coat with olive oil and sprinkle fajita seasoning over everything.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Place under broiler for last minute or two.
I added sour cream and shredded jack cheese to mine. Would have added avocado if I had one.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rootbeer Pulled Pork

I love pulled pork!  Always in search of an easy, tasty recipe, I found a family favorite.
Rootbeer Pulled Pork
(8 servings)
2 1/2 to 3 lb pork tenderloin
12-20 ozs. rootbeer (usually 1 can or small bottle)
1-18 oz. bottle of your fave bbq sauce
Garlic salt
Spray inside of slow cooker with non stick spray.
Poke small holes in the pork and sprinkle some garlic salt on top.
Pour rootbeer over the pork.
Turn slow cooker on high for one hour then low for 5-6 hours.
Turn pork over every 2 hours so all sides have a chance to cook in the rootbeer.
After 5-6 hours of cooking on low, remove pork and shred using 2 forks.
Reserve approximately 1 cup of the liquid that the pork was cooked in and pour back into slow cooker.
Add shredded pork.
Pour bbq sauce over meat.
Cook on low for another 30-45 minutes, till liquid thickens up a bit.
Serve on toasted buns.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Easy Taco Soup

I first had this soup at a friend's house. I was not a fan of black beans prior to tasting this soup. Boy, had I missed out on a flavorful bean! I have adapted this recipe to what I like and you're encouraged to do the same! 

Easy Taco Soup
(6 -8 servings)
1 pound cooked ground beef
1 medium chopped onion cooked with ground beef
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatos
1 can Rotel tomatos
1 small can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 32 oz box Beef Stock
1/2 envelope dry ranch dressing
1 envelope taco seasoning
Combine all in large pot. Add water if there is not enough liquid for your liking. 
Cook on medium heat for one hour.
Suggested toppings:
Tortilla chips
Diced avocado
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese or combination of cheeses

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Who wants chocolate cake?

Earlier this month, a friend posted about making a chocolate cake and how simple it was. Someone asked for the recipe and she replied it was on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can. Curious, I picked up a can of said cocoa and the necessary ingredients to bake it. I have to say this is the most decadent chocolate cake I've ever tasted and not just because I baked it! I spread the middle layer of the cake with caramel sauce to make this my own. See what strikes you as a good middle layer topping.

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1- 1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 9-in round  baking pans. Alternatively, you can line the bottom of the baking pans with parchment paper. (I will likely try this next time I make a cake as I had a bit of an issue when I removed the cakes after they had cooled.)
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin) till completely incorporated.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes.
Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Frost with "Perfectly Chocolate" frosting.

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting

This is a super creamy frosting with a whipped consistency. Not sure if that was because I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer instead of a hand blender. Note: I had about 1-1/2 cups frosting left over. This recipe makes about 2 cups of frosting.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter.
Stir in cocoa.
Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk, on medium speed until it reaches spreading consistency.
Add more milk, if needed.
Stir in vanilla.
Frost your cake.
I only used 2 cups of powdered sugar and it was plenty. This will be up to your discretion and how sweet you want your frosting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Winter has the area where I live in its clutches and I don't like it. My idea of rebelling against (or living in denial of) it all is baking something that reminds me of Summer. Pineapples remind me of warmer temps and sunny days. I looked through many cookbooks for just the right recipe. Many of the ones I came across involved a sheet cake and cream cheese for frosting or maraschino cherries and a cast iron skillet. Not really what I had in mind. Just when I was ready to give up, I found the below recipe in Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and tweaked it a bit. It is an unconventional recipe but give it a try. The results are delicious!


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1- 8 oz can pineapple slices, drained and halved
4 maraschino cherries, halved (Optional. I left them off)
*"Busy-Day Cake" batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter on the lowest setting on the stove in a 9x1 and 1/2"  round baking pan.
Stir in sugar and 1 tablespoon water.
Remove from heat.
Arrange pineapple and cherries (optional) in the pan.
Prepare cake batter. (see below recipe)
Spoon cake batter over the pineapples/cherries, careful to not disturb their arrangement.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
Loosen sides and invert onto plate.
I wasn't sure if I should glaze or just sprinkle powdered sugar on top. I decided to do a light glaze using 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of milk.

*"Busy-Day Cake" batter

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Add milk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until all ingredients are combined. Switch mixer to medium speed and beat for 1 minute.
Batter is now ready to pour into the cake pan where you've arranged the pineapples.