Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back at the Chocolate Cake

So I am on a quest to find another "Best Chocolate Cake" recipe. Although most people really like the one I typically make, some do not. This weekend I am making a chocolate cake for someone who did not absolutely love my "Best Chocolate Cake." I tried a couple of recipes that most reviewers said were AMAZING, but I was less than impressed. 

At this point I'm not equipped to give away any fabulous prizes because well, lets face it, I rarely ever post over here. BUT I will make you a special "linky thing" that names you as the "The finder/owner/keeper of the best chocolate cake" or something like that. Just leave a comment with the link to the best recipe or paste the recipe in your comment. 

In order to be considered, you will need to post your comment by 7pm CST Friday, November 7th. I will post the winner on Sunday November 9th!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rice is not my friend

I have this amazing recipe for a Chicken and Rice Casserole, but it requires me to cook rice. After all, you can't really use minute rice in a casserole recipe! It would turn to mush! I have tried many tricks, and I just don't have any luck with it. Any suggestions? Tricks that you know of? I appreciate your input! 

Monday, August 25, 2008

The BEST Chocolate Cake

This recipe originally came from The Joy of Baking, but I adapted it.

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
2 1/4 cups all purpose or baking flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pan(s). (I use a springform pan.) Put chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over and mix thoroughly. 

While that is cooling, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In mixing bowl, whip butter until it is fluffy. (It will change to an off-white color.) Add sugar slowly. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Slowly pour in chocolate mixture.

Next add milk and flour mixture alternating until they are used up. I recommend ending with milk. 

Pour into pan(s). Heat at 350 until toothpick comes out clean. If you're using 2 round cake pans, it should take 35-45 minutes. If you use the springform pan, it will take 1 hr-1 hr 15 min. Let cool in pan for 10-15 min. Let cool completely. Frost. Enjoy!

(Original recipe calls for 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and 2 cups sugar. I had to adjust because the cake would fall in the middle as it was too moist. The sugar shouldn't matter too much, but if you're using smaller pans you may, or may not, wish to use the original measurements.)

1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp. butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1-2 tsp. vanilla
3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. milk

Heat chocolate and unsweetened butter in microwave until melted (about 25-35 seconds). Mix.
In mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla. Blend. Continue to mix, adding powdered sugar. Next pour milk in 1 tbsp. at a time until its of frosting consistency. 

I left the ingredients open to varying amounts, because I think frosting is something you should base on taste; if you are not using it to do a decorated cake. There's sort of a formula for the frosting when decorating a cake. So taste as you go and have fun!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pausing on the kitchen blog

As much as I would love to consistently post recipes, tips, and ideas, I am watching what I eat pretty hardcore right now and am VERY tempted to indulge in things I shouldn't. Like cake, ice cream, and HIGH carb foods. MMMmmmmm. Ok, I need to stop now. I will post when I can. Just FYI. ;) 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cake Decorating Tip of the Day

Ever make an amazing cake and go to frost it only to get crumbs all in the frosting?

Here are a few tricks...
1. Dust all loose crumbs off the cake before frosting it. (A pastry brush works great!)
2. Make sure the cake is cooled completely.
3. Stick the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes before frosting it. (I have been known to let it freeze overnight and then frost it the next morning. I haven't had any problems with cake flavor or texture. Just don't freeze it after frosting, because it will sweat.) 
4. Don't be afraid to use a lot of frosting. Put a clump of frosting on the cake and then smooth it out. (Not little bits at a time!)
5. Wipe your spatula if crumbs get on it! (Hint: Using the right kind of spatula will help too. I recommend the smaller metal ones like the one below.)

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Simple Lunch that's healthy and tasty

This is a very simple lunch that takes about 10 minutes to make... Great if you work from home. It is also very healthy!

Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable... 

I use minute rice... About 1 cup rice, 1 cup water. That goes in the microwave for about 6 1/2 minutes. (Adjust time according to your microwave. You may want to stir it in the middle to make sure all the rice gets cooked thoroughly.)

Meanwhile, pull out a couple frozen/fresh chicken tenders (unbreaded) or a chicken breast. Put a little EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil) in your pan and let it heat up for a minute. Place your chicken on the pan. This is where you can get your variety... I keep a few different kinds of marinade (I purchase when they're on sale and when I have coupons). You can use a marinade or just some seasonings. Be creative... Onion powder, garlic powder, and herbs are great choices! Cook your chicken thoroughly (no pink in the center).

For the veggies... Pick whatever kind you like and heat it in the microwave or on the stove. 

Sometimes I keep each part separate and sometimes I mix it all together. You could throw the rice in the pan with the chicken and get it covered in the marinade or just set the chicken on top. 

I eat this meal A LOT... Probably too much actually, but it is healthy and I can change it up every day. Yum!