Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oatmeal Cake

This cake is SOOOOO GOOD! I can't even begin to describe it's goodness to you! The flavor of it is quite similar to the frosting of German Chocolate Cake, but without the nuts (which, in my case is a good thing, since I am allergic to them). Thanks for sharing this recipe with me Cynthia!

The ingredients:
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. rolled oats (either regular or quick oats)
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick (1/2 c.)butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. milk
1 c. flake coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract

The instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350^. Grease and flour a 9 X 9 pan (must be a 9 X 9 NOT 8 X 8). Combine water, and oats in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugars and oil. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine remaining ingredients w/whisk and add to wet ingredients. Add oats and stir well. Put in pan and wrap pan on counter to remove bubbles. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

15 minutes before cake is done, start making topping. Combine the butter, sugar, and milk in a sauce pan. Boil for 5 minutes. Add coconut and vanilla. Prick warm cake with a fork and pour topping over cake. Let it cool and serve warm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This recipe was given to me by a neighbor about a year ago. It was a family favorite the moment I put it on the table. This is one of the few foods I can get both my girls to eat. Thanks Lori!

The ingredients:
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
dash of pepper
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. chopped onion
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. barbeque sauce (I prefer Honey BBQ)

The instructions:
Combine all the ingredients for meatballs; mix well. Form into 2" balls. Place in a casserole dish in single layer. Cover with sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients and blend thoroughly. Heat and pour over meatballs. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

((Sometimes I forgo the meatballs and just brown up some ground beef, once cooked I add the sauce to the skillet and let simmer for a few minutes...))

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Homemade Big Hunks

So I remember most of my youth, and one of the memories that sticks out best is my many (MANY) trips to the neighborhood grocery store for candy and soda. Me and my siblings would walk the couple blocks to the nearby Walgreens for a treat, and without fail I would come home with one of two things. Either a half pint of Walgreens brand ice cream (it cost exactly 1.07) or more often than not a Big Hunk and Soda (also- exactly 1.07). I LOVED Big Hunks. So needless to say when I found this FANTASTIC recipe online (I don't remember where) I instantly bought the ingredients to make it.

The ingredients:
1 larger bottle Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts (lightly salted)
3 smaller jars Kraft Marshmallow Cream
2 1/4 cups light corn syrup
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt

The instructions:
Butter a large cookie sheet. Scatter peanuts equally on cookie sheet. Place marshmallow cream in a LARGE bowl, set aside. In a large saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugar. Place over high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a boil. Clip on candy thermometer. Cook to 280 degrees F, or to soft crack stage. Remover from heat and let stand 2 minutes undisturbed. Without scraping, pour entire batch into marshmallow cream and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add butter, vanilla, and salt and stir with wooden spoon until butter in incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly across peanuts. Allow to stand at room temperature until firm, about 3 hours. Cut and wrap in wax paper.

((The biggest difference here is how SOFT this candy is! It is firm enough to not be sticky, but soft enough to not break a tooth on. Clean up can be a mess, but is OH, so worth it!))

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fake Frostys (Think Wendys)

Seeing as how I had a very painful procedure done to my mouth yesterday, I get to spend the next three months on a fairly simple diet of soft foods. Or at least small enough bites that I don't need the front teeth to break it into smaller pieces... So with that in mind this next recipe is a GREAT one for a sore mouth. And if you don't have an ice cream maker than you should go buy one! (OR you could look up directions online to make ice cream without a fancy shmancy machine...)

The ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chocolate milk
¾ cup chocolate syrup
1 can evaporated milk
½ can sweetened condensed milk
Chocolate shavings (optional)

The instructions:
Combine all ingredients except shavings and chill for 4-6 hours. Pour into ice cream maker and follow ice cream maker’s directions. When ice cream is beginning to set add shavings if desired.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Coconut Cookies (or Wheatie Cookies- whichever you prefer)

This recipe is one I was raised with and will forever be my favorite cookie of all time. I know the title sounds suspicious, but honestly- you HAVE to try these cookies before you can knock em, and trust me when I say that there will be no knockin' of these babies! I am not sure where it originates from, other than the fact that it is in my great grandmother's cookbook. One way or the other, it is a fabulous recipe and I would love to know your opinion on this recipe.

The ingredients:
1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 c. coconut
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. wheaties (hence the name) or other flake cereal (use bran flakes if it makes you feel better about eating them!)

The instructions:
Cream shortening and sugars. Add beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Add coconut and mix until incorporated. Sift dry ingredients (or stir with a wire whisk) and add to wet ingredients. Blend in vanilla. Stir in cereal. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE.

Enjoy them! They are so easy and chewy... Mmmmm... I may need to go make me some cookies now.

Bourbon Street Chicken

A few years ago my husband and I were lucky enough to be exposed to some fine dining at a neighboring city restaurant. It was a high-class Chinese food restaurant (I promise, such a thing DOES exist!), and I ordered the orange chicken. I will never forget that food. It was FANTASTIC, and I think one of the most amazing parts of it was the very VERY lightly breaded chicken. I had never experienced breaded food like this. It was slightly crispy, it held in the chicken's natural tenderness, but it wasn't overpowering. Now fast forward a few years to last week. I was doing my typical THANG online and ran across a recipe that sounded good... So, of course, I tried it. And WHAT DO YA KNOW?! It was lightly breaded chicken! The sauce was fantastic too. So without further ado I will pass it on to you!

The Ingredients:
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs. oil (for frying)
4 Tbs. cornstarch

1 garlic clove (minced)
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

The Instructions:
Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and lightly dust with cornstarch. I used a gallon ziplock baggie. Just toss chicken and cornstarch together. Heat oil in your wok or frying pan and fry chicken until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine all sauce ingredients (I chose to NOT add the red pepper flakes since my kids are anti-spice... Oh who am I kidding- I don't like spice either). Pour into wok or frying pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice!

(picture and recipe found and adapted by Mmm... Cafe)