Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Recipes Sweepstakes

Just thought I would let you all know about a sweepstakes on one of my favorite food sites.
Enter at right now until April 30 for the chance to win $5,000 worth of free groceries!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cake

To celebrate my mother's birthday I made one of my family's favorite cakes. It is so easy and always turns out perfect! Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Yum.
Chocolate Chip Cake
1 (18oz) yellow cake mix with pudding
1 (4oz) instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 large eggs
1 (8oz) sour cream
1 (6oz) chocolate chips
Combine the first three ingredients and stir with wire whisk until smooth. Add oil and next three ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
After the cake is cooled I make the following chocolate glaze for the top.
Chocolate Glaze
4 oz chocolate chips
3 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP hot water
Melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Remove and stir in powdered sugar and water. Stir in additional water if needed to reach drizzling consistency. Spoon over cake.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cream Cheese-Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

We love bananas... should I say my son loves bananas. I always have bananas as a healthy snack for him since he can be a picky eater! More often then not I will end up with one or two that are too ripe. I stick them in the freezer until I have three or four and then I make these muffins. I found the recipe in one of my Southern Living magazines. The original recipe was for banana nut but I choose to put in chocolate chips.

Cream Cheese- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
3/4 cup butter - softened
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium)
1 cup chocolate chips or 1 cup chopped pecans - toasted
1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, chips (or pecans), and vanilla. Spoon batter either into muffin cups or 2 greased and floured 8x4 inch loafpans.
Bake at 350
25 minutes for muffins or1 hour for loafs. You might need to cover loafs with foil at the end of the baking time to prevent browning.
There are several topping options on the original recipe so click on Southern Living below to view the full recipe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Skillet Baked Ziti

For a quick one pot dish you can not beat this pasta. If you have a 12 inch non-stick oven safe skillet the meal can be done in 30 minutes. If you don't have an oven safe skillet you can transfer the pasta to a shallow 2 quart casserole dish before sprinkling it with cheese and baking. This recipe came from Cooks Illustrated. I have an online membership which i love!!
Skillet Baked Ziti
1 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz) Can crushed tomatoes - use good ones..
3 cups water
12 oz ziti ( 3 and 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 475
Combine oil, garlic, red pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt in 12 inch, ovensafe nonstick skillet and saute over medium high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cream, parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned about 8 minutes. Serve.
Source: Cooks Illustrated

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad sandwiches. My favorite chicken salad is from Phil's Deli in Charlotte. In my quest to duplicate that chicken salad, I found this recipe in one of my Southern Living Cookbooks. It is very standard, no frills, but tasty.
Chicken Salad
4 cups shredded cooked chicken - i shred mine in the food processor
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 TBSP sweet pickle relish
1 1/2 TBSP dried minced onion - adjust this to your taste... don't add too much at first
3/4 cup mayonaise - I use Dukes
1 TBSP lemon juice - fresh
1/2 tsp salt
Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Combine mayo, lemon juice and salt, stirring until blended; add to chicken mixture, and toss well. Cover and chill. Serve on lettuce leaves, in tomato cups, ritz crackers, or on sandwiches.
Source: The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars -aka- Clay's Cake

My mom's friend Claire passed this recipe to us. Her son Clay loved it so much he requested it every year as his birthday cake. Who can resist chocolate and peanut butter? Bunco tonight so this is what I decided to take with me.
Clay's Cake
1 1/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 box 10x sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Melt butter and mix with all ingredients except the chocolate chips. Press into 9x13 greased pan.
Melt the chocolate chips and spread over top. Cool and slice.

Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of my standbys..... whenever i don't know what to make for dinner I usually go for these enchiladas. If you like the more smothered and soft enchiladas you might not like these, they are crispy on the outside and topped with sauce after baking.
Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups cooked shredded chicken - I shred mine in the food processor with the grating blade
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 to 1 cup sour cream
1 (4.5 oz) diced green chiles
8 flour tortillas - soften before filling by placing in microwave for a few seconds
Cooking Spray
1 (8oz) sour cream
1 (8oz) jar tomatillo salsa
1/2 can rotel tomatoes
green onions, avacado
Stir together first 4 ingredients and spoon mixture down center of flour tortillas and roll up. Arrange seam side down in lightly sprayed 13x9 dish. Coat tortillas with cooking spray and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Stir together sour cream, salsa and rotel. Spoon over hot enchiladas and sprinkle with desired toppings.