Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Sheet Cake

Mike found this recipe and asked for it for his birthday cake. We are so glad he did... it was SO yummy! We will definitely be making it again!

Strawberry Sheet Cake
Serves 30-36 (depending on how large your pieces are)
Adapted from Homesick Texan

16 oz fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cups of sugar plus 2 teaspoons
1/4 cup water
2 cups of flour
2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Over the chopped strawberries, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Let them sit for an hour at room temperature so they can release some of their juices. In a blender of food processor, pulse the strawberrues for a few seconds until crushed—you want them juicy but still with some texture. Take 1/2 cup of the strawberry mixture for the frosting and leave the remaining crushed strawberries for the cake. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the sugar and flour together in a bowl. Melt the butter on low in a saucepan and then whisk it with the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and baking soda. Add the liquid to the flour and then stir in one cup of the crushed strawberries. Pour batter into greased sheet pan (I just use a large baking sheet... not an official sheet pan) and bake for 18 minutes. Cake is done when a knife comes out clean from the center. Let it cool and then frost with the strawberry cream cheese frosting (recipe below). Note: The cake will be a little brown. This because of the alkaline reaction of the ingredients. Do not be alarmed!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup crushed strawberries
2 teaspoons of lime juice (about half a lime)
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until blended. Add the strawberries, lime juice, lime zest and vanilla. Spread over cooled cake.

Note: Depending on how juicy your berries are, your icing may be runnier than usual. If this is the case, add more cream cheese to thicken it up.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Southwestern Egg Rolls

Southwestern Egg Rolls

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
quart oil for deep frying

Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.
Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I have yet to find a Pioneer Woman recipe that I don't like. This picture and the recipe are from her site.
¾ pounds Ground Beef
¾ pounds Ground Pork
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
¾ cups Fine Bread Crumbs
2 whole Eggs
¾ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
¼ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Splash Of Milk
½ cups Olive Oil

1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
½ cups White Or Red Wine (optional)
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
pinch of red pepper flakes (opt.)
8 whole Fresh Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (optional)
2 pounds Spaghetti, Cooked To Al Dente

Preparation Instructions
To make the meatballs, combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk in a mixing bowl. Mix together well with hands. Roll into 25 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

To brown the meatballs, heat olive oil in a heavy pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs 8 at a time, turning to brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel after each batch. Set meatballs aside.

In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, or until translucent. Pour in whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and wine, if using. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add meatballs to pot and stir in gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during the simmer.
Just before serving, stir in basil if using.

Serve over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sweet Cheese Quesadillas

I made these for Mike and myself last night. They were yummy. They aren't very sweet, but you could definitely make them be, if you wanted. I also added bananas to ours. You could probably use whatever fruit you have and it would work great.

Sweet Cheese Quesadillas
makes 2 quesadillas

4 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
10 strawberries, thinly sliced
2 whole wheat tortillas
1 dash ground cinnamon
1 pinch sugar

Spread 2 Tbsps of low fat cream cheese over each whole wheat tortilla. Spread thinly sliced strawberries over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Fold in half. Warm skillet on medium-low heat. Place tortillas in the skillet and cook slowly until one side is golden and crispy. Flip and repeat for the other side.