Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yummy baked Tilapia

I have no food in my house so I made this up last night with what I could find in the fridge and it turned out really yummy, and it was really fast.

3-4 frozen tilapia loins
1/2 medium onion sliced thinly
mushrooms sliced
1-2 tsp garlic
large handful cherry tomatoes halved
1/4 cup white wine
olive oil
2-3 tbsp butter
garlic salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
Crumbled feta cheese

1)Place frozen tilapia loins in oiled baking dish. (Use olive oil)
2)sprinkle sliced onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes evenly over fish. Drizzle with olive oil (a couple tbsps)
3)sprinkle minced garlic over all, and season with basil, parsley, pepper, and garlic salt. Drizzle with more olive oil.
4)Pour white wine over all. place 2-3 pads of butter on top of everything. Cover with tin foil
5)Bake covered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook for additional 15 minutes.
6)Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over all.
7)Serve over rice to catch the juices. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Saint Patricks Day Corned Beef and Cabbage

Just in case you missed it, you can probably get corned beef on sale now! This is a family tradition for St. Patrick's Day or thereafter and is an easy, one pot, delicious meal.
1- approx. 3 lb corned beef brisket
2 bay leaves
about 6 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered.
1 large onion, cut up in large chunks
1 medium cabbage, coarsely cut up, not shredded, in big chunks about an inch.
3-4 medium carrots, quartered, optional, can also add parsnips if desired.
Trim excess fat from meat. Place in a large 6 qt. pot, add juices and spices from package. Add enough water to cover meat. Add bay leaves and onion. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to simmer forever! Well not really forever, but I would put it on in the morning sometime and let it cook until dinner at 6:00! The secret to fall off the fork tenderness is just simmering it for at least four hours! A half hour before you want to eat, remove the bay leaves and add the vegetables. Bring back to a boil and then turn to medium and cook till tender about 20-30 min. Then remove the cabbage and put in one bowl and sprinkle with vinegar, add butter and salt and pepper. Cover and set aside. Put all the potatoes, and carrots and parsnips if you added them, in another bowl and sprinkle parsley, fresh or dried, butter and salt and pepper. Serve with mustard! Serve meat on another plate and cut across the grain but if you cooked it long enough, it pretty much just falls apart! Yum!

Easter Blueberry Salad

This Salad is as amazing as the cranberry Thanksgiving one and since it is such a beautiful purple pastel Eastery color, was a frequent Easter salad from your childhood!
1 C pineapple grapefruit juice
1 3 oz. box lemon jello
1 large can drained blueberries
1 Cup blueberry juice, drained from blueberries, then set in fridge or freezer to chill.
1 Cup mashed bananas
1/2 pint whipping cream
Heat the pineapple juice in microwave till boiling, pour over juice. Stir until dissolved and then add chilled blueberry juice. Refrigerate or put in freezer, (watch closely if you put it in freezer) just until soft set. Remove then whip till frothy about 5 min. Set aside and beat the cream. Fold into the blueberry mixture and add the blueberries and mashed bananas. Chill! Can make the day before!

Famous Easter Leg of Lamb

With Easter coming up, I had to post this amazing family standard!
1 5 to 7 lb. leg of lamb
lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
2 TB snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cloves garlic, slivered
Trim all the fat from meat. Cut 1/2" slits into roast at 1" intervals over the entire roast surface. Brush surface of meat with lemon juice, getting into pockets. Stir all the herbs together and rub over entire surface and into pockets. Insert garlic slivers into pockets. I do this preparation the day before and refrigerate covered with foil.
On Easter, place meat, fat side down, uncovered, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast in a 325 degree oven 2 to 2&3/4 hours for medium rare, or 2&1/2 to 3&1/2 hours for medium. Cover with foil and let stand about 10 min. before carving.

Mint Pesto (must be served with Lamb! Amazing)
1 Cup fresh mint leaves with stems removed.
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic
3 TB olive oil
1 TB white wine vinegar
1/4 C grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
1/4 C slivered almonds
This is made in a food processor. Add the ingredients, in the order listed, one at a time, pulsing after each addition until done. This is amazing and I ended up making three times this amount during dinner because people wanted more and it is really fast to just process it, so believe me, just make two or three times the recipe to start with!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

German Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. 4 oz. Bakers German Sweet Chocolate
1/2 C boiling water
2 squares butter
2 C sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2&1/4 C flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C buttermilk, or soured milk; 1 TB vinegar added and set aside to sour.
4 egg whites stiffly beaten
Melt Chocolate in boiling water. Cool. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy beating with a hand beater. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one mixing bowl;set aside, and add yolks one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well with each addition. Blend in vanilla and chocolate. Mix flour with soda and salt. Add alternately with buttermilk to Chocolate mixture beating after each addition till smooth. Beat egg whites and fold in carefully. Pour into cake pans or 9x13 pan. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Frosting: Combine 1 C evaporated milk, 1 C sugar, 3 slightly beaten egg yolks, 1 square butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Cook and stir until thickened. Add 1&1/3 C coconut and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Cool until thick enough to spread.

Pumpkin Cake

3 C sugar
1 C oil
4 eggs
2/3rds C water
Put water and oil in the bottom of a blender, add the sugar and eggs and beat till smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl and add:
3 C flour
1&1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1&1/2 tsp. soda
2 C pumpkin
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Grease and flour a large bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45 min. to an hour. Check with a knife in center till clean. When done remove from oven and let sit for ten minutes, then slide a knife all around center and as many flat edges as you have on your bundt pan before inverting on a plate. Tap with knife handle all around bottom, now top, before lifting pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar by putting a little in a sieve and tapping the sides. Beautiful and delicious.

Carrot Cake

2 C flour
2 C sugar
1&1/2 C oil
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 C grated carrots
4 eggs
1 C chopped walnuts optional or you can put them on top of the frosting.
Mix dry ingredients, add oil, add eggs one at a time beating after each addition, then grated carrots. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Check by the knife test coming clean from the center.
Frosting: 2 cups powdered sugar, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 square softened butter, 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat till fluffy!

Texas Sheet Cake

This recipe is so fast and easy you can make it while your guests are at the table and bake and frost it before dessert and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. While at Danielle and Jordan's we couldn't find it in the blog, so it must be here!
Mix in saucepan:
2 squares butter
3 TB baking cocoa
1 cup water
If you have buttermilk, great, if you don't add 1 TB vinegar to 1/2 c milk and set aside at this point.
Bring to a boil the cocoa mixture for about a minute. Pour it over 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix till smooth. Add 1/2 cup soured milk or buttermilk, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. baking soda. Bake in a jelly roll pan for 18-20 min.at 375 degrees. Check to make sure it comes clean in center with a knife. While it is cooking melt in saucepan 1 square butter, 4 TB cocoa and 6 TB milk. Just bring to a boil then remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 pound powdered sugar, and 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. Beat well until smooth and spread on cake right out of the oven.

Poppy seed Cake

This is a favorite cake recipe I have had forever too! I thought it should be recorded here for posterity.
1 cup butter
1&1/3 c. sugar
1/4th tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1&1/3 c milk
1&1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
2-3 TB. poppy seeds
Cream butter and sugar with hand beater. Add eggs beating in one at a time. mix dry ingredients and add alternately with milk, add vanilla and poppy seeds last. Bake in greased bundt pan at 350 degrees for one hour or until center comes clean on a knife. Check at about 55 minutes.
Frosting: 1/2 square butter
4 oz of cream cheese
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 cup powdered sugar
Glaze with:
4 TB. butter beaten with a hand beater, add
1 cup powdered sugar
then add just enough orange juice till thin enough to drizzle over top.
variation: make cake and frosting with vanilla instead of almond flavoring. Both are delicious.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Buttermilk Yellow Cake

This is a mom classic recipe. She gave it to me a couple weeks ago to use for Rylynn's birthday cake and I loved it! It was a big hit at the party too. I made two round cake pans and as soon as they were completely cooled, I covered them and froze them to frost the next day. If you frost them when frozen it makes them really easy to work with and you don't get crumbs in your frosting. It kept the cake so fresh too.

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter softened
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk(1 Tbsp vinegar to l cup milk)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

1. Cream butter and sugar till smooth.
2. Add one egg at a time while blending on low speed.
3. In a separate bowl add baking powder to flour.
4. In another bowl add baking soda to buttermilk.
5. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients to sugar mixture ending with dry ingredients.
6. Add vanilla to all.
7.Bake in greased and floured pans at 325 degrees. Two round pans cook about 20-25 minutes, 9x13 pan cook about 45 minutes.

Frost with whatever you want. I used the Wilton's vanilla buttercream frosting. (Recipe below)

Our Buttercream Icing recipe is perfect for spreading or decorating. Follow our instructions to make it the ideal consistency you need.


1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

(Medium Consistency)

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

Scallop and Zucchini Fettucini

This is a variation of a scampi pasta that I made up while Mom was visiting. We loved it! I used the tiny bay scallops, but if you don't like scallops you could use uncooked shrimp.

1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 small onion diced small or you can use dried minced onions
2-3 cloves minced garlic to your liking, I love garlic so I used 3
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil or more
1 lb bay scallops or shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
1-2 Tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh
1 package fresh spinach fettucini (I used the Bertolli kind in the refridgerated section at the grocery store) If you don't like spinach then you can use the regular or whole wheat kind.
Shredded parmesan cheese to taste

Slice zucchini and then half the slices. Chop the onion really small or use the dried flakes. Place butter and olive oil in large sautee pan over med-high heat. Add Zucchini, onion, and garlic and stir frequently until just tender.

In a separate pot, boil water for pasta and cook until desired doneness. Set aside.

Add bay scallops or uncooked shrimp to veggies in sautee pan and cook until the veggies are browned and the scallops are still very soft, stirring very frequently so you don't overcook the scallops. Turn the heat down and add the wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper and parsley. Simmer until wine is reduced and remove from heat immediately.

Drain pasta and add to the sautee pan. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce and everything is evenly distributed. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over all and cover with lid to melt the cheese. *Do not use heat during the last two steps* Enjoy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

I am posting this recipe at the request of Ben and Molly. I have made these for the family a couple times, but it has been awhile. I found this recipe about 8-10 years ago online and I tweaked it a bit so they would taste more like Maggianos since they are the best stuffed mushrooms of all time, so here is the doctored up version.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion diced very small
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp or less to taste red pepper flakes
reserved mushroom stems chopped small
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, oregano, and basil chopped or 1 tsp of each dried. I've used the both and the dried tastes just as good.
salt and pepper to taste
1 large box of stuffing mushrooms (at least 12) stems removed and reserved
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese ground
1 lemon cut in two halves

Heat the oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and chopped mushroom stems. Sauté about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine for about 3-5 minutes. (There should still be some liquid in the pan so turn the heat down if it is burning off too fast) Remove from heat, and stir in bread crumbs and all the herbs. Stir till all onion mixture is coated in bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly. After a few minutes, when mixture is warm but not hot, stir in the parmesan cheese and stuff the mushrooms with filling. (Use all the filling even if it is falling out into the pan.) Place mushroom caps round side down in greased 9x13 pan or baking sheet. Drizzle all the tops with olive oil and squeeze half the lemon over the tops of each mushroom. Save the other half for after baking. Bake mushrooms at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Immediately squeeze other half of lemon over all and serve.