Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekly Menu Planning Saturday #12

Spaghetti with Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Bread Machine Breadsticks and Cinnastix
I like to make a big batch of this sauce on the weekend and freeze it in big yogurt or sour cream containers.  When ready to eat, all you do is thaw and serve with some pasta.  Super Easy. 

Bread Machine Breadsticks

Cinnastix with Cream Cheese Icing
I use half of the breadstick dough and make cinnastix

Chop up extra onion and bell pepper from the spaghetti sauce and this will be ready in no-time

Shelley's Chicken Enchiladas (No Canned Soup)

Bourbon Chicken Over Rice (without the Bourbon)

The Best French Toast
Sliced Bananas are a must with this French Toast

Linguine Carbonara
Use leftover sausage links from the Spaghetti Sauce

Menu-Plan Day and Take-Out Night

Camper Crunchies

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blueberry Swirled Quick Bread with Strawberry Glaze

Did I tell you I bought 5 lbs. of frozen blueberries at Costco a few weeks ago?  

I follow America's Test Kitchen on Twitter and they tweeted a recipe for an amazing looking blueberry bundt cake.  Mouthwatering pictures get me every time.  I immediately knew I had to make it over the weekend.

I headed to Costo to get some fresh blueberries, but they were EXPENSIVE.  No way was I going to spend that much.  So, the next best thing . . . frozen berries came to mind.  They had a giant 5 Lb. bag for $8 or $9 bucks.  Way better deal at the time.  

I got home and bad news . . . it was going to be a stormy weekend.  There was no point in making a beautiful cake and not being able to photograph it, because it is gloomy outside.  

By the time the weather was nice, I had already moved onto a different treat.

This delicious Blueberry Swirled Bread.

I used the same recipe from my Strawberry Swirled Lemon Poppy Seed Bread and used blueberry jam instead of strawberry and topped it with a delicious strawberry jam glaze instead of a lemon glaze.

Of course, it turned out delicious!

If you want your icing to get nice and crisp like on a donut, add meringue powder.  My favorite little trick to the perfect icing.      
Blueberry Swirled Quick Bread with Strawberry Glaze
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. imitation lemon extract (or zest of 1 lemon), opt.
3/4 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda 
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. blueberry jam (store-bought or homemade)

Strawberry Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbl. strawberry jam
up to 1 Tbl. milk, as needed to reach desired consistency
1 tsp. meringue powder, opt.  (this helps the icing harden)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the egg, egg white, vanilla and lemon extract and mix until well blended.   In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients and Greek yogurt alternately to the batter, starting and ending with dry and mix until just combined.

Spread half of the batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan.  Top with blueberry jam, leaving a small border around the edge.  Do no swirl the jam.  Top with remaining batter and carefully spread out evenly.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert to a wire rack and cool completely.  Meanwhile, make the glaze.

For the Strawberry Glaze:  Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy, adding milk only if needed to reach a glaze consistency.  Pour over cooled bread and allow to harden.  If you are in a hurry, you can pour this over the warm bread.  

Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Frothy Sunrise Punch

Yesterday was cloudy and had a light breeze.  It was cool enough outside that I had my windows open and it kept my house cool.  My A.C. hardly turned on.  

Today, my A.C. hasn't turned off.  It is very very warm.  A refreshing, cold, drink was a MUST.  

I have made this Sunrise Punch from The Pioneer Woman a few times now.  It is creamy and frothy and totally hits the spot.

The magical ingredient is Meringue Powder.  It makes this drink so frothy and it stays frothy for a long time.     
Meringue Powder can be found at any baking supply store or even at your local grocery store, if they have a cake decorating section.  One container is only a few dollars and it will last a really long time.  I like to add it to my icings (like in this recipe and this recipe).  It helps the icing harden like on donuts from the bakery. 

So, pick yourself up a container of meringue powder and make this incredibly delicious drink.  You will love it and want to make it all Summer long. 

If the juice and the froth start to separate, just stir it back together with your straw.    
Frothy Sunrise Punch
adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

1 c. orange juice
1 c. pineapple juice
1 c. whole milk
1 1/2 Tbl. meringue powder
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. ice

Combine all ingredients in a large blender and blend until smooth and frothy.  Yield: 3-4 servings, depending on the size of your cups.   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Corn Maque Choux {Corn, Bacon and Veggie Side Dish}

Corn Maque Choux . . . a traditional side dish down in Louisiana.  

This is the first time I have had Corn Maque Choux and I loved it.  It is super delicious and every bite is packed with so much flavor and so many different textures.  Juicy corn, crispy celery, crunchy bacon - oh yeah!

I served mine warm, but I bet it's pretty darn good served cold too.

This is a side dish I will be eating all Summer long, alongside some grilled chicken.    
Corn Maque Choux
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

4 slices thick bacon
1 Tbl. bacon drippings
1 Tbl. butter
1 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. chopped celery (about 2-3 large stalks)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
salt, only if needed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. low-sodium beef broth
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen corn kernels
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro (or parsley)

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to a paper-towel lined plate; cool and crumble.  Discard all but 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter to the same pan with the reserved bacon grease.  Add the onion, celery and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes.  Add the thyme, black pepper and Cajun seasoning.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  

Stir in the beef broth and frozen corn.  Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and broth has nearly evaporated; about 15 minutes.  Stir in chopped cilantro and crumbled bacon pieces.  Taste and season with salt, if needed.  Serves: 4

Slightly adapted from: All Recipes

Linked up at Weekend Potluck! and Strut Your Stuff Saturday! and Saturday Night Fever!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Skinny Mountain Dew Cake with Whipped Topping and Strawberries

Be sure to follow me on bloglovin' and never miss a delicious recipe.
I am not even kidding when I say this cake is so DANG good!

It could quite possibly be one of the lightest cakes I have ever eaten.  If you served this cake to someone, they would have no clue it's a skinny cake.

There are only FOUR total ingredients - A cake mix, a can of soda, light whipped topping and strawberries.  That's it.
The cake is made with a cake mix and a can of soda.  No oil and no eggs, just soda.  It creates the softest, lightest cake and I am blown away by the result.

I love Diet Mountain Dew and that is what I used, but you can't actually taste the soda in the finished cake.  If you are against diet sodas, regular works great too.  Or if you don't drink caffeine,  Sprite is another great option.
This is the perfect light cake for Summer and think of all the different versions you can make by switching up the flavor of cake mix and soda.  You will be seeing more versions of this on Eat Cake For Dinner, so be prepared :)  
Skinny Mountain Dew Cake
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 (15.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 (12 oz.) can Diet Mountain Dew, room temperature 
1 (8 oz.) container light whipped topping, thawed
16 oz. strawberries, hulled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and can of soda.  The soda will foam up a bit.  Whisk together until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Pour into cake pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Serve with whipped topping and chopped strawberries.  

Jenn's Notes:  The cake is so soft and it cuts cleanest when using a serrated knife.  Regular soda can be substituted for diet or a different flavor can be substituted for Mountain Dew.  I have also tried this cake with vanilla frosting and the whipped topping is a much better option for this light cake. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekly Menu Planning Saturday #10

Chicken, Bacon, Ham, Asparagus and Cheddar Pasta with Easy and Fabulous Focaccia Bread
You can also add spinach to this dish and use the leftover for the Chicken Florentine Red Pepper Sandwiches.

Easy Fabulous Focaccia Bread


Ground Turkey Tacos
Top with extra lettuce and tomatoes from the Meatball Gyros

Chicken Florentine Red Pepper Sandwiches

Fluffy Cornmeal Pancakes


Menu-Plan Day and Take-Out Night

Reese's S'more Magic Layer Bars

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

My neighbor made the best Snickerdoodles I have ever had.  They were so soft and had so much flavor.  Months went by and she moved away.  I talked to her the other night and finally remembered to ask her about them.

All she remembered is the recipe came from All Recipes and she thinks they had shortening in them, which was interesting to me, because I remember them tasting buttery.  She also said that she didn't have cream of tartar on hand, so she left it out.  So, I searched Snickerdoodles and they have 25 recipes.  Guess, I better get working on that :)  First, I picked the recipe with the highest reviews.

The outside is crisp and the centers are soft and chewy.  These are a delicious snickerdoodle, but not my neighbors recipe.  Cross one off the list, 24 more to go.  
Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs 
2 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbl. sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cream together butter, shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and add to creamed mixture.  Mix until combined.  In a small dish, stir together 4 Tablespoons sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon.  

Form dough into 1 1/2'' balls and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Remove immediately from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.  Makes around 4 1/2 - 5 dozen cookies.  

Linked up at Saturday Night Fever and Weekend Potluck!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Crispy Cheddar Baked Fries

With Summer coming, I will be eating a lot more grilled burgers and grilled chicken and I'm always looking for delicious side dishes.

Baked fries are always a crowd favorite and these turned out so yummy.

The outside has a nice crunch and the inside is so soft and tender.

Serve with Ranch dressing.

Potatoes, Cheese and Ranch.  Does it get much better?

You might also like:
Crispy Cheddar Baked Fries
adapted from: Simply Gloria
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed,
   leave skin on and cut off the bad parts
2-3 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
3/4 c. grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbl. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut potatoes into wedges and put in a large bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the potatoes and toss to coat.  All of the potatoes should be evenly coated, if not, add a little more oil.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir together until all the wedges are coated.  Pour onto a greased baking sheet.  I find a dark baking sheet works best to get a crispy fry.  A lot of the coating might fall off when poured onto the baking sheet.  Scoop it up and press it onto the wedges.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender.  Cool for a few minutes before serving.  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.  Makes 3-4 servings.  

Linked up at Saturday Night Fever and Weekend Potluck!

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