Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ground Beef Quinoa Tacos

This was one of those add ingredients as you go until it tastes good kind of recipe.  Most of the time the add-as-you-go recipes don't get posted, because I forget exactly how much of an ingredient I added or I forget to figure out how many servings it makes.  This time, I wrote everything down as I went and I am so glad I did, because we loved these tacos.

We even ate them two nights in a row and they might have been even better the 2nd night.

You might also like:
Southwestern Quinoa Pepper Boats
Southwest Quinoa Salad
My Favorite Ground Beef Tacos
Ground Beef Quinoa Tacos
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 c. dry quinoa
3/4 Lb. lean ground beef
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 can mild Rotel, undrained (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
1 can corn, drained
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro

For serving:
10-12 taco shells
sour cream
Feta cheese
diced tomatoes
chopped cilantro

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.  This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.  In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. When beef is almost cooked through, add the onions and saute until tender, 3-4 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, including the cooked quinoa.  Cook until everything is heated through.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Serve in taco shells with sour cream, Feta cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro or any other desired toppings.  Makes 10-12 tacos.

Jenn's Notes: If you want to bulk this up even more, you could add a can of black or pinto beans.  Ground turkey can be used instead of ground beef and it still tastes good.  This tastes amazing leftover.   
Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cookies 'n Cream Marshmallow Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet makes me happy :)

So do these cookies.  They are so vibrant.  

Do you like soft and chewy cookies that are loaded with ooey gooey goodness?
These cookies have the perfect texture.  The outside is crisp and the inside is super soft and chewy.  They are full of chocolate flavor with hints of melty cookies 'n cream bars and gooey marshmallows.

They do taste more like a chocolate cookie than a red velvet cookie.  They are missing that "tang" from either buttermilk or vinegar that is usually in red velvet recipes.  Next time, I'm thinking of adding buttermilk instead of the regular milk and we will see what happens.  Either way . . . these cookies are ADDICTING and SO SO GOOD.

There is no possible way you can stop at just one.  Maybe not even two.

You gotta try these.
You might also like:
Cookies 'n Cream Marshmallow Red Velvet Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) and (Printable with Picture)

1/2 c. (8 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbl. milk
1 Tbl. red food coloring (I used liquid)
1 1/2 c. + 1 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
about 12-15 fun-size Cookies 'n Cream bars, broken into pieces
1/2 c. mini marshmallows, cut in half

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.  Add both sugars and beat until creamy.  Mix in the egg, vanilla and milk.  Next, mix in the red food coloring on low until well combined.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in about 7 of the broken candy bars.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet.  Press one or two broken candy bar pieces into the top of each dough ball.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press three to four marshmallow halves onto the top of each cookie.  The heat from the cookie will melt them slightly.  Cool on pan 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 24 cookies.

Base Cookie Recipe adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction

Friday, January 24, 2014

Almond Poppy Seed Ricotta Muffins with Orange Glaze

Every time I make something with ricotta, I have to make a batch of Ricotta Muffins with the leftovers.  The flavor combinations are endless and each one I have tried so far has been amazing.  I love the texture and the fact that they stay soft for a few days.    

This is my 3rd version of Ricotta Muffins and if that isn't enough to convince you they are delicious, then I don't know what will.

You might also like:
Secret Ingredient Snickerdoodle Muffins
Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins
Almond Poppy Seed Bread with Orange Glaze
Almond Poppy Seed Ricotta Muffins with Orange Glaze
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 c. sugar
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbl. poppy seeds

Orange Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. orange bakery emulsion (or orange zest)
1 Tbl.  milk (or orange juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray.  Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in the ricotta and then the egg, almond extract and vanilla extract.  Add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and poppy seeds.  Mix until just combined.  Divide batter between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.  Bake for 23-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely and top with orange glaze.  Makes 15-16 muffins.

Orange Glaze:  Mix together all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  If glaze is too thick, add a tiny bit more milk until desired consistency is reached.  Drizzle over muffins.   

Monday, January 20, 2014

Funfetti Sheet Cake from Scratch in 30 Minutes

 Grammy's White Sheet Cake is one of the most popular recipes here on Eat Cake For Dinner and it is the most requested recipe by family and friends.  

It was time to turn that pretty white cake into a funfetti cake.  I can't believe it took me so long to finally think of doing that.  Funfetti is probably one of the most requested cakes by kids on their birthdays and now you can make it from scratch, feed a bunch of people and not even break a sweat.  
You don't even have to break out the mixer for this recipe.  A whisk is all you need.   

It is such an INCREDIBLE cake and can be made in 30 minutes.   I can mix up the batter in a few minutes, bake it for around 22 minutes, prepare the frosting while it bakes, let it cool for a few minutes, pour on the frosting and BAM . . . you are done :)  The very first time you make this, it might take a little longer than 30 minutes since it is new to you, but I have made this so many times, it's a piece of cake.  However, sometimes I do allow the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting, it just depends on what your schedule allows.   

It tastes great for several days and can easily be made ahead of time. 

You better buy a big container of sprinkles, because you are going to get begged to make this cake over and over again.  
Funfetti Sheet Cake from Scratch
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. water
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbl. sprinkles, plus more for garnish

1 c. unsalted butter
6 Tbl. evaporated milk
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  For the Cake: Combine butter and water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted.  Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.  Once butter is melted, whisk into the flour mixture.  Whisk in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Fold in the sprinkles.  Pour batter into a well-greased 12''x17'' sheet pan.  Bake for 21-22 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly (or cool completely) before adding the frosting.  

For the Frosting:  Add powdered sugar to a medium bowl.  Combine butter and evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted.  Remove from heat and pour over powdered sugar.  Whisk until smooth.  Add the salt and vanilla and whisk until well combined and smooth and creamy.  Pour over slightly cooled cake.  Frosting thickens slightly as it sits.  Garnish with additional sprinkles, if desired.

Jenn's Notes: Recipe can easily be cut in half and baked in a 9x13-inch cake pan. 

Base cake recipe adapted from: Frieda Loves Bread

Thursday, January 16, 2014

White Bean, Ham and Wild Rice Chowder

This was a make-up-a-recipe-as-you-go kind of soup that turned out way way GOOD.  

I am a super chunky soup person.  This chowder is just that.  It's thick and creamy with lots of chunks of veggies, beans, ham and rice.   

I used bacon for two reasons.  One, I really wanted to saute my veggies in bacon grease, because bacon grease means FLAVOR.  Plus, garnishing a creamy soup with crispy bacon is always a plus.

This tastes amazing day one and served as leftovers.

It's hearty and delicious, to say the least :)
White Bean, Ham and Wild Rice Chowder
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

6 slices thick bacon, diced
1 1/2 c. chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
1 c. chopped carrots (about 3 carrots)
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder (I use Shirley J)
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. water
1 1/2 c. half-and-half (I use fat-free)
1 1/2 c. cubed ham
1 (15 oz.) can Great Northern beans, drained
1 (6 oz.) box Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice
   Original Recipe with 23 herbs and seasonings, cooked
     according to package directions

*Wild Rice can be omitted and replaced with another can of Great Northern beans, if desired.

Heat a large dutch-oven over medium heat.  Add the diced bacon and cook until crisp; remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve for a garnish.  Remove all but two Tablespoons of bacon grease.  Add the celery, carrots and onion and saute until vegetables are tender; about 10-15 minutes.  Add the chicken bouillon powder, lemon pepper and Italian seasoning and stir together.  Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes.  

Slowly add the water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Mixture should be very thick right now.  Stir in the half-and-half, ham, beans and cooked wild rice.  If mixture is still too thick for your liking, stir in more water.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  You can serve immediately, but I like to cover mine with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes.  The chowder will stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure to stir it occasionally.  Serve with crackers or sliced bread and garnish with cooked bacon.  Makes 5-6 servings.  

Jenn's Notes: I used leftover holiday ham that I had in my freezer.  

Linked up at Weekend Potluck! and Strut Your Stuff Saturday! and Tip Me Tuesday!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Homemade OREOS with Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

These cookies are so super dangerous.  I am having to practice some serious self-control, because I want to eat the whole batch tonight :)  Yes . . . as in ONE-SITTING.  They are melt-in-your-mouth crazy good.

The chocolate cookie is your standard cake mix cookie which are soft and chewy every time.  The filling has the best strawberry flavor.  In addition to pureed frozen strawberries, I add some strawberry extract for an extra boost of flavor.  You might want to attack the filling with your spoon . . . but try and save some for the cookies, because the chocolate cookie paired with the fresh tasting strawberry filling is a DIVINE combination.

Perfect for a Valentine's Day treat.  

If a cake mix isn't your thing, I have an awesome homemade chocolate cookie recipe too.  Just omit the red food coloring and you are good to go.

BTW - I made these again and took them to work and I have never received so many compliments and recipe requests.  Two people even told me they might be the BEST cookie they have ever had :)  
Homemade OREOS with Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 pkg. chocolate fudge cake mix (or any chocolate cake mix)
3/4 c. shortening
2 eggs

Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling
1 stick (8 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temp.
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
pinch of salt
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. frozen strawberries in sugar that have been 
    thawed and pureed, plus more if needed
1 tsp. strawberry extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  For the Cookies:  Combine cake mix, shortening and eggs and mix until combined.  Dough will be stiff.  Roll into 1'' - 1 1/2'' balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Cool completely.  Spread filling over half of the cookies and top each with another cookie to make sandwiches.  Makes about 36 cookies (18 sandwiches).  

For the Strawberry Filling:  Cream together butter, cream cheese and salt.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add the pureed strawberries and strawberry extract.  Gradually mix in the remaining powdered sugar.  If frosting is too thick, add a little more strawberry puree.    

If a cake mix isn't your thing, you can make 1 1/2 batches of this Chocolate Cookie Recipe and omit the red food coloring.

Linked up at Tip Me Tuesday! and Weekend Potluck! and Strut Your Stuff Saturday! and Mega Inspiration Monday!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I had no idea it was supposed to snow today.  I headed out to work this morning in my toeless HIGH heels.  I opened my front door, saw all the snow and rather than walking back inside and down the hall to change my shoes, I figured  . . . it'll probably only snow for a minute.

Nope, it's been snowing all day long.  Luckily, it is soft snow and not icy slippery snow.

brrrrrr :)

Now, all I want is a bowl of this unbelievably delicious chili.  

I first had this at a Halloween luncheon back in October and LOVED it.  This is one white chicken chili that does not lack flavor.  It's a new favorite.

Make it and warm yourself right up.
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
1/2 c. yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl. cumin
2 Tbl. dried oregano
pinch red pepper flakes
4 chicken breasts
3 (15 oz.) cans Great Northern Beans, undrained
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 (7 oz.) cans diced green chiles
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1/4 c. chopped cilantro

For serving 
shredded cheese
additional sour cream
Fritos or French Bread

Combine onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, pepper, chicken breasts, beans, chicken broth and diced green chiles in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and shred.  Add chicken back to slow cooker along with the sour cream, green onions and chopped cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Serve with desired toppings.  Serves 8.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Coconut Oil Honey "Butter"

Are you ready for an alternative to Honey Butter?  An alternative that might even taste BETTER than real honey butter?  I know, that is a bold statement, but you gotta try it to believe it.  I can't even begin to describe how AMAZING this tastes.
Some say coconut oil is better for you than butter.  It has ZERO cholesterol and ZERO trans fats. Flavor-wise, I LOVE IT, but like any other butter or oil, this is still something you would want to enjoy in moderation.  A small amount on a slice of bread is plenty. 
This isn't the first time I have made this.  The first time I smothered it over warm rolls a few months ago, but this time I was craving my favorite Copycat Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat Bread.      

That hearty, dense, delicious bread topped with this creamy spread is so irresistible that you better make two loaves of bread while you are at it.  

You know what else I love?  You don't have to store the leftover "butter" in the fridge.  So, it always stays soft and creamy and spreadable.
Coconut Oil Honey "Butter"
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 c. extra-virgin coconut oil
3 - 4 Tbl. honey, according to taste

Combine coconut oil and honey and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy and super creamy.  Serve over rolls, wheat bread, banana bread, french toast, or anything else you can think of.    

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ground Turkey Tacos

Happy New Year!  Let's start 2014 off right . . . with a good taco recipe.    

These tacos were meant to be our "healthy" night dinner.  Mine was healthy, but the pictures are of "The Mr.'s" tacos :)  Besides from the meat and bean mixture, he loaded his with guacamole, Mexican rice and Feta cheese.  I topped mine with only lettuce and tomato.  

Both versions were so good and if you choose to make them healthy like my version, I promise it won't taste healthy.  I didn't even miss the cheese, which was a shocker.  You could even go all out and eat these in a lettuce cup if you wanted.

"The Mr." loved his version too, but of course he did . . . just look at them.
Ground Turkey Tacos
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

3/4 Lb. lean ground turkey
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. salsa
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
1 tsp. cumin, or to taste
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
8-10 taco shells

For garnish
diced tomatoes
Feta cheese
chopped cilantro

Cook ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat.  Just before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped green peppers and onion and saute a few minutes until tender.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 more seconds.  Add the beans, salsa, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and lime juice.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve in tacos shells with desired toppings.  Makes: 8-10 tacos.  

Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

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