Sunday, September 30, 2012

Theo’s Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Theo’s Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Theo's College Graduation Picture

This recipe is in honor of my dear Grandma Cox.  She passed away this week at the age of 96. She was such an inspiration to me and all our family.  She could cook like no other.  She ground her own wheat and always tried to cook healthy and with the freshest ingredients.  She had made this recipe for decades.  My mom made it as well and then taught me.  I remember back in the day like it was yesterday waiting at the oven for the bread to come out.  The only way to describe the smell is pure 'Love'.  Cutting off the heel and slathering it with butter and homemade jam.  Heaven I tell you Heaven! A loaf of this bread did not last long in our house. As I'm typing now I'm thinking of making a grilled cheese sandwich. My mouth is watering here and now.  I hope you try this bread and enjoy it as much as I have over the years.  This recipe is the perfect way to make your kitchen the center of your home and family.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

      I think this is the funnest recipe.  I first saw this on Pinterest on a blog from Ruthanne @ eASYbAKED.  Here is the link. .  She has some of the yummiest things.  I will have to work my way through her blog.  I made just a couple minor changes.  I have made them twice.  Once for my Husband's birthday and once for my Mothers retirement potluck.  Both a huge hit.  The only problem was there was not enough.  So, Maybe you might want to think about making a double batch.  I always think once I am making a mess in the kitchen I might as well make it worth it. My next tweak on the recipe is to use dices apples and a fresh cranberry.  Maybe a spice cake.  Does that sound like Fall or what?  Hope you enjoy trying this recipe as much as I did.

·         One boxed yellow cake mix (plus the oil/butter, water and eggs to make according to box)
·         2/3c. packed dark brown sugar
·         1/3c. melted butter
·         1 (20oz.) can of pineapple chunks (I like lots of pineapple so you might need more)
·         24 maraschino cherries

Look how beautiful these flipped out of the cupcake pan

·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees
·         Place disks in the bottom of your mini cheesecake pan or a cupcake pan and spray well with non-stick spray.
·         Mix together brown sugar and melted butter.
·         Spoon half of the sugar mixture evenly into the bottom of each cup in the pan (this recipe makes 18-24 mini cakes, so if you only have one pan you will need to do this in 2 batches).
·         Place one cherry in the center of each cup.
·         Break apart pineapple chunks and place around cherry in each cup.
·         Make cake mix according to box (I used the whole egg method)
·         Spoon half of batter evenly in each cup over cherry and pineapple.
·         Place pan on a cookie sheet (important– these will leak a little!!!)
·         Bake at 350 degrees for about 22-24 minutes. Cupcake pan cook for less time so keep a close eye.
·         Allow pan to set and cool. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes.
·         Take a knife around the edges of the cakes to help ensure release.
·         Gently push up on bottom disk and remove each mini-cake from pan.  Or, put a sheet pan on the top of the cupcake pan and hold tight and flip. Give a good tap on counter and slowly lift cupcake pan.
·         Place bottom up on a cake rack and gently remove disk from top (replace any fillings that stick)
·         Wash your sticky fingers and pan and repeat to make 24 cakes (unless you are lucky enough to have two pans- then you can do them all at once!)
·         Allow these to cool completely.  Once they set they hold together beautifully.  I even put mine in the fridge before I took them to work for the retirement potluck.  I used a cupcake pan both times and was very happy with the results.  I'm going to get the mini cheesecake pans soon to try.  They look like so much fun.

Can you just taste the brown sugar?

Best of luck and fun~   Kristina

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tacos in a Pasta Shell

One of my family favorites.  Crunch of the chips and the creaminess of the meat and cheese.  I served with a green salad with blue cheese dressing. There was not much talking at the dinner table.  You want to know what I'm really excited for? Lunch tomorrow!  Make a big recipe because leftovers are even better.

2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 cup finely diced Onions (sometimes I add peppers or chilies too)
2 tsp minced Garlic
1  8oz container Cream Cheese & Chives   (I have used up to 2 at times for more creamy moisture)
1-3 tsp Chili Powder (adjust for your taste)
1-2 12oz jars Mild or Medium La Victoria Taco Sauce
2 cups crushed Tortilla Chips
2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese (combination, either, or)
1 box Jumbo Pasta Shells (16 to 18 shells)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sour Cream and Green Onions for garnish
9x13 Baking Dish or something similar

Cooking Instructions
Cook shells as directed and rinse with cold water and set aside.

Fry ground beef, onions, and garlic

Add cream cheese, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix to combine and take off heat.  Let cool just a bit so it will be easier to handle.

Spray baking dish with a non stick cooking spray.

Stuff the shells with the beef mixture and place side by side in the baking dish.  Make sure shells are nice a full.  If you run out of beef and the 9x13 in not full just use your leftover/unused shells to fill up the dish.  This helps to keep the stuffed shells in place and up right. 

Pour the taco sauce over the shells, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes @ 350*

Top with cheese then chips and cook uncovered for 20 minutes @ 350*

Top with sour cream and green onions (do this at the table when serving so the sour cream does not melt)

Some people may want a bit more taco sauce.  It is kind of a hard dish to pair sides with.  It is pasta and Mexican all at the same time.  Just a simple salad is a great choice.

Best of luck and fun~  Kristina