Monday, September 6, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Find the recipe here. Super easy. Super yummy. Very rich.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ice cream cake

In honor of my mom's milestone birthday yesterday I will post instructions on how to make an ice cream cake - something she taught me.

Ideally you need 24 hours to make an ice cream cake but if you have a really great freezer you can do it in less time.

To make a 9" round cake you will need:
1 8" round cake - frozen
2 - half gallon containers of ice cream (your favorite flavor*) - you will have some left over
1 half gallon of vanilla or chocolate ice cream for the "frosting"
stuff to decorate it with
Waxed paper
9" round cake pan
*rocky road ice cream is especially challenging because of the mini marshmallows.

Bake your cake first. I usually just use a box cake mix and cook it in two 8 inch pans. Make sure you grease and flour them well before cooking them, let them set 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack after they are finished cooking and then turn them out onto the cooling rack. When they are cool, put them each in a gallon ziploc bag, squeeze out all the air and put in the freezer until frozen solid. You will only be using one of the layers.

If you want a larger cake you just need to make sure the pan you put the ice cream layer in is 1" larger than the cake. (a 10" pan uses a whole cake mix and the full 2- 1/2 gallons of ice cream. You can use the same sized pan it's just not as easy.

Once the cakes are in the oven set out your filling ice cream to soften.
Line a 9" cake pan with waxed paper and set aside. When ice cream is somewhat soft remove large portions and press it into the lined pan making sure it fills in all the crevices and has no air space. Smooth the top so it is level, cover it with another piece of waxed paper and put it in the freezer.

When the cake and ice cream are both frozen, put the cake on your serving platter, (remove the top layer of waxed paper) and center the ice cream on top of the cake, removing all waxed paper.
Allow it to sit at room temperature to soften the edges of the ice cream.
When the ice cream is soft and spreadable, carefully spread the ice cream down over the sides of the cake. Smooth the sides and then spread the crown that is created at the edges of the top of the cake towards the center so that the ice cream leaves a smooth surface all around the cake.
Put it back in the freezer to harden - at least an hour - most likely more.
About 20 min. before you are ready to "frost" the cake take the vanilla or chocolate ice cream out of the fridge and let it soften. When it is soft enough, put it in a large bowl and break it up.
Let it sit to soften a little more and then using the back of a sturdy spoon stir and smash the frozen lumps out of the ice cream until it is smooth but still thick.
Retrieve your frozen cake from the freezer and dump all the "frosting" ice cream on top of it.
Spread it on the top of the cake creating a large lip that hangs over the sides.
From the top smooth the lip down the sides and around the cake taking more from the overhanging lip of ice cream as needed.

It helps to turn the cake as you go to smooth out the sides.
Once the sides are smooth, use the spatula to clear off the extra ice cream, returning it to the bowl (to eat later or make shakes with - sooo yummy).

continue to smooth the top removing excess ice cream.
Don't take too long doing this as your cake will be melting.
Return it to the freezer as quickly as possible.

The longer you can freeze it at this point the easier it will be to decorate.
Use regular decorator frosting to pipe borders but work quickly so they don't slide off. Melted chocolate is always good dripped on the edges but allow it to cool as much as possible before putting it on the ice cream to avoid sliding.

When you are ready to serve the cake, allow the whole cake to sit out for 10 min. or so to soften for easier serving. A knife dipped in hot water also helps.

For Ruby's Elmo cake we printed off a picture of Elmo from the internet, cut out the center creating a stencil and filled it in with red sprinkles. I piped melted chocolate for the outlines and mouth and filled the nose in with almond butter.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Carne Asada Tacos

for Amy
picture from here

We fell in love with these while in Mexico last December and came home and found this recipe.
I have found that this recipe will feed 5 (including 1 adult male and two late teen/early twenty boys) as long as I serve it with rice and beans on the side. If you only serve the tacos you may run out of meat.

Combine marinade ingredients in large ziploc bag:
2 TBS white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lime juiced
2 TBS oil
1/2 tsp salt (only needed if you use low sodium soy sauce)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Prepare the 1.5 - 2 lbs flank steak

If you have a few hours to marinade the meat, prick it with a fork, place it in the marinade and refrigerate for 3-4 hours and up to 24. When it is done marinading cut it first in two or three long pieces with the grain and then slice it in thin slices perpendicular to the grain. You can stack the long pieces on top of one another to speed up the slicing.

If you are in a hurry slice the meat according to the directions above and add it to the marinade. Let marinade at room temp. for about an hour.

Add the meat to the marinade for the time given above.

While it marinades prepare the condiments:
1/2 sweet (yellow) onion chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salsa or pico de gallo
chopped avacados or guacamole
grated cheese (Mexican or cotija cheese is recommended)
1 or 2 limes sliced in wedges

Cook 1 16 oz pkg of corn tortillas. I like to spray each side pam and cook each side in a fry pan.

Cook the meat (choose one of the three options):
a)Pan fry the meat with some oil to desired doneness.
b) BBQ it over high heat allowing the middle to remain slightly pink. If you grill it allow it to sit for 10 min. or so to set juices.
c) Cook it in batches on a George Foreman grill. I do this next to the edge of the sink as the juices overflow the little trough.

To make your taco, put a small amount of meat on a corn tortilla, add onion and cilantro and other condiments and squeeze a little lime on top. Thoroughly enjoy each bite.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

This is seriously the best oatmeal cookie recipe--it might be hard to stop eating them. I'm not a fan of raisins in cookies, but you can't taste these, and my hubby didn't believe me at first when I mentioned that there were raisins in the cookies. Thanks to my mother-in-law for giving it!

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Puree in blender raisins, vanilla and eggs. Cream together butter and sugars; add raisin mixture. Mix in dry ingredients. Chill dough. Roll into balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my mom's recipe, and it is super easy and really yummy.

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup

3-4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 carrots, cut into small slices
2 stocks celery, cut into very small diced pieces
1/2 onion, cut into small pieces
Heat Olive oil on med-high heat. Stir in vegetables. Turn heat down to medium and saute vegetables (continue stirring) for about 5 minutes. Then add:

3 cans chicken broth (Low Sodium) (I use Swanson brand-it has
good flavor and no MSG)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can water
Bring to boil and add:

1 can 12.5 oz of canned chicken with the liquid or cooked cubed chicken (2-3 breasts). (When I use canned chicken, I usually use two cans because Aaron and I like it extra meaty).
3/4-1 tsp black pepper
Boil for about 3 minutes then add:

Whole wheat noodles (about 3 cups)
Boil about 10 minutes until noodles are tender.

Add: 1/4 tsp Rosemary (rub between fingers to crush)
1/2 tsp Oregano
Stir in and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from stove and serve.

It is definitely a favorite for us. Hope you enjoy it!