Monday, July 18, 2011

Lisa's Super Moist Strawberry Cake

My friend Lisa made this cake for our Life Group many years ago. It is incredibly moist and a delicious summer dessert. Here are her directions in her own words...

1 strawberry cake mix - made per directions on box.

While cake is baking:

mix 1 large box strawberry jello with 1 1/2 c. boiling water,

add 1 1/2 c. strawberry soda.

Poke holes in cake (I use round toothpick).

Pour jello/soda mixture slowly and evenly over cake.

Allow to cool.

Chill in refrigerator.

Add topping.


Small box vanilla pudding - made per directions.

fold in small tub of cool whip.

Spread over chilled cake. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pimento Cheese Spread

My Grandma Hill's simple recipe. I did not even know you could buy in the store until after I was married. :) 

1 lb. Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 Small Jar Pimentos
1 c. Mayonnaise  
Pepper to taste 

Shred cheese in food processor or box grater on biggest grating option available.  Mix cheese, pimento and mayonnaise in large bowl (might need a little milk to thin out if too thick to mix. Serve with fritos, crackers or make a sandwich. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blueberry & Sausage French Toast Casserole

This sounds amazing! I can not wait to make it in Jeremy's Granny O'Neals cast iron pan. Another recipe from Lisa at The Homesick Texan - looking forward to her cookbook coming out in September! Here is my variation on the recipe but you can find the original recipe here.

1 tablespoon light butter
2 cups fat free half-and-half
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 24-inch loaf of French bread, cubed (about 5 cups)
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 pound turkey breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
Optional - Powdered Sugar
Maple syrup

In a large Cast iron, on low heat melt the butter and swirl so it coats the bottom and the sides. (You can add melted butter to a 9x9 square pan and bake it that way if you do not have a cast iron skillet.)

Beat the together the half and eggs. Whisk in the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until well combined.

Layer the bottom of the skillet with half of the bread (could also make this with thick Texas toast bread or even leftover buns). Top with the blueberries and crumbled cooked sausage. Place on top the remaining bread cubes, and then pour over the bread the custard until all pieces are well covered.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Let the casserole sit unrefrigerated for 20 minutes, until some of the milk mixture has been absorbed, and then bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and then bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until top is firm and lightly browned. Optional - sprinkle with powder sugar when it come out of the oven. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with syrup.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stuffed Strawberries

I took these to a book club meeting last week- what an easy and delicious dessert!

20 strawberries, washed, dried and cored
8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 sleeve of graham crackers
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Set aside strawberries while you make the filing. Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer, then add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Place graham crackers in a zip lock bag and beat them into fine crumbs - set aside.

Take the cream cheese mixture and put in a gallon zip lock bag. Snip the end and fill the strawberries.

After strawberries are filled dip the top in the graham cracker crumbs. Melt the chocolate chips, then place in zip lock, snip tip off. Drizzle the side of each strawberry with a little chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Asparagus Tart

1 sheet puff pastry (thawed according to the packages directions)
2 tablespoons honey dijon mustard
2 cups gruyere (grated)
1 pound asparagus
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Roll the puff pastry out to a 16x10 inch rectangle. Score a line around the puff pastry 1 inch from the edge. Brush the mustard around the inside of the cut. Sprinkle the cheese over the mustard. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush the outside inch of the pastry with the olive oil. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the asparagus is tender and the pastry is golden brown, about 15-25 minutes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Penne Rustica - lighter version

This is my favorite things to order at Macaroni Grill. I found the recipe on my friend Leah's recipe blog. As always, I lightened up a bit so I do not feel so guilty eating it!

Gratinata Sauce
3 tablespoons light butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons marsala wine
2 cups fat free half & half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked

12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 skinless chicken breast fillets
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) thick-sliced prosciutto, chopped

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

12 sliced pimentos
4 sprigs rosemary

Get a large saute pan ready (or you can grill the meats) by setting the temperature to medium high heat.

Prepare gratinata sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Add garlic and sweat it for about 5 minutes. Be sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk well until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it's thick. Cover sauce and remove it from the heat.

Cook pasta following directions on the package (7 to 9 minutes in salted boiling water). You want the pasta tender, but not mushy (al dente). Strain pasta and set it aside when it's done.

Pound the thick end of your chicken breasts a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness. Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Put shrimp in a bowl rub them with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add a little oil in the pan to coat the pan. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside to rest. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side. When chicken has rested 10 minutes or so - slice each breast into strips.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Add 3 pasta, then chicken, shrimp and prosciutto to pie plate. Spoon in the gratinata sauce on each serving and toss to coat. Combine 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, then sprinkle mixture over the top. Bake for 10 -15 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. Arrange the pimentos on the top, the n jab a sprigs of rosemary throughout the dish.

Makes 4 large servings.

*** Could be made ahead and frozen. If freezing leave off the topping & garnish until ready to cook. Thaw out completely, once thawed set on counter for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking. You will need to start cooking the dish on 350 to heat through - once heated through take dish out of the oven. Set the oven on 500 then add the topping and cook until bubbly. Top with garnish then serve.***

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grilled Asparagus & Poached Egg

I love Asparagus and Poached eggs - this is the perfect healthy breakfast for me.

1 Tbsp toasted Panko
6-8 stalks fresh asparagus with the tough stalk trimmed
1 soft-cooked, poached egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute Panko in a skillet over medium heat with enough Olive Oil to barely coat crumbs and give a nice crunchy brown crust.

Lightly spray or brush asparagus with olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat until spears begin to turn bright green, turning once or twice as they cook. Can be done with a grill pan on the stove, an outdoor grill or even under a broiler. Remove to serving plate.

Poach egg , leaving the yolk soft and carefully place on top of asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and top with panko.