28 August 2009

Baked Brie

Note: I have not actually made this recipe, but definitely plan to. Trina and I ate it together at a friend's house, and she urged me to post it.
round brie, still in the wax
1 pkg Pillsbury frozen puff pastry
raspberry jam
slivered walnuts
1 egg, beaten
Allow the puff pastry to thaw. Spread raspberry jam in the center of the puff pastry and sprinkle with almonds. Place the brie in the center. Wrap the brie in the pastry. Paint the top with the egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

16 August 2009

Buttercream Icing

This icing recipe has a history...it was the frosting for my parents' wedding cake, and my mother liked it so much at the time she got the recipe. It has been on every cake or cookie we ever made growing up (no canned frosting for us!), and how I define icing. It is easy to make, easy to use, and (in the case of the ice cream cake below) freezes well.
16 oz. powdered sugar
3/4 C Crisco
1/4 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 C water
1/2 Tbsp cream of tartar
Beat all ingredients except milk together on low speed, then beat for two minutes on high speed. Add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, until your icing reaches the desired consistency. Color as desired.

Ice Cream Cake

This is a ridiculously simple recipe that I picked up from a friend, and I made it as the birthday cake for Jeff this year. It was very tasty, and well-received...you'll look REALLY capable if you make this one! :)

carton of ice cream of choice
box of cake mix of choice (and the stuff to make it)
buttercream icing (net post)
wax paper

Put the ice cream in a bowl and let it completely thaw -- as in, soup. Line the pan you will use to bake the cake in with wax paper. (I used saran wrap, and it was REALLY hard to get the saran wrap off after the ice cream re-froze. I haven't actually tried the wax paper, but I hear it's what you're actually supposed to have.) Pour the ice cream into the pan and spread it flat. Re-freeze the ice cream.

Lift the ice cream layer out of the pan by the wax paper, and put it back in the freezer. Make the cake mix as directed, baking it in two layers. When the layers have totally cooled, remove them from the pans and freeze them on wax paper.

When everything is totally frozen, stack the cakes and ice cream in layers. (I used a paper plate as a base and toothpicks to hold it all together.) Put the entire thing back in the freezer to get nice and solid.

Make the buttercream icing. Frost the cake, then allow the icing to freeze.

Mix up the colored icing you want, decorate the cake, then (you guessed it) refreeze.

This cake takes about 2 full days to make just because of all the freezing, so plan accordingly. Also, it ends up being very tall (3X the height of one of your cake pans), so make sure you have freezer space! Last thing...if putting in candles, be aware that they might be hard to get through the icing layer.

06 August 2009

Creamy Chickpea Curry

Another recipezaar success! This is AMAZING! I love Indian food, but no matter what I try it is never as good as you can get at a real Indian restaurant. This one really is! In fact it is so good that I ate it for 5 meals in a row last week and still wasn't tired of it!

I am not going to retype it here- just check out the link: http://www.recipezaar.com/Creamy-Chickpea-Curry-205289

So easy, so yummy, and nice to not have a meat centered dish once in a while!

04 August 2009

salads a la Charlottesville

When we were in Charlottesville VA for the past couple of weeks, we tried to eat at the local restaurants rather than the big chains like Applebee's. (Plus, there's the fact that I've read the Eat This, Not That website, and because of that, just the thought of Applebee's makes me want to hurl.)

We found one little local frozen yogurt place just down the street from our hotel called Arch's, and they also had sandwiches and salads. Here's their menu with the different ingredients right there on it, to give you some ideas. We didn't have any of the sandwiches. We had the Roasted Rotunda salad with sundried tomato dressing, and the Cowboy Baby. We didn't like the Cowboy one nearly as much, but the first one was excellent. I need to find a recipe to make sundried tomato dressing now - that was really good.

Also of note, here are the Build the Perfect Salad guidelines from "Eat this, not that." Very informative! And I'm happy to say that the salads we make at home are in the good category! We don't need to change anything!

Something new and made up

So, sometimes, when I don't have all the ingredients for something I want, or I just don't want anything I know how to make, I start experimenting. The following is one of those things, that turned out really well. I just don't know what to call it. Mushroom goulash? Hamburger Shells? What do you think?

1 lb. Box small shells
1 family size can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. milk
1/2 -1 lb ground beef, browned
2 cups shredded cheese ( I use colby jack, but I am sure you could use any thing)

Cook noodles according to directions. In the meantime, mix the cream of mushroom soup and milk, and heat over medium heat until bubbly. Add the cheese. When the cheese has melted, add the cooked ground beef. When the noodles are done, drain, and add the sauce. Mix well, then serve.

My family is adding this recipe to our favorites. I am not really sure how much meat I actually use, but I know I try to stretch it as much as possible right now.

And, as I said, I am not sure what to call it in my cookbook. Any ideas?

03 August 2009

Creamy Penne Pasta

This isn't the healthiest recipe, but it sure is yummy! The original recipe calls it a creamy pasta, but it's basically an alfredo sauce and penne.


* 2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
* 1 tablespoons butter
* 4 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
* salt, to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
* 3/8 cup half-and-half (I used half heavy cream and half 1%milk)
* 1/4 cup chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons water
* 3/8 cup parmesan cheese, grated
* 2 tablespoons sour cream


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter.

3. Stir in the oil, flour, garlic and seasonings until blended.

4. Gradually add the half and half, broth and water.

5. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

6. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and sour cream.

7. Drain pasta and toss with the sauce.

I added chicken and broccoli and it was a big hit with my picky family.