Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ice Cream Cake--but not like you think!




As of right now my little Pie a la Apple is just shy of 6,000 views!




Holy Cow!


I just had to share that little bit of information with you because it's just mind blowing to me.






 But, that's not why you are here.

Today, I've got an ice cream cake for you guys. 


And not the kind you are used to. 
We're going to bake this one!

Not long ago I made Ice Cream Bread and we all really liked it but it doesn't compare to this cake.

This cake is so moist. 

So, moist it is almost wet.

It's simple, only uses a few ingredients, and there are boo koo's of options.


This cake uses a cake mix. I know a lot of you may not be to keen on that.  My first choice usually isn't a cake mix either. There is just something about a cake made from scratch. I'm with ya...but this cake is worth the exception.


I suggest using an ice cream rich in flavor.  I made the cake using Cotton Candy flavored ice cream and a white cake mix.  It just didn't have the flavor that the other two did.
 It was however, a very pretty light purple!


The below photo is made with white chocolate macadamia nut ice cream and a white cake mix. I also threw in a cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of macadamia nuts too.


And here we have one made with red velvet ice cream and a red velvet cake mix!



Let's Get Started:

Ice Cream Cake
recipe from Omnomicon



1 box cake mix (any flavor)
1 pint ice cream (any flavor)-softened
3 eggs
1 cup water
nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease 9 x 13 pan or bunt pan very well

Mix all four ingredients for 4 minutes (yes 4 whole minutes).

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Allow to cool before adding any frosting (optional).

  I used a powdered sugar/milk glaze. You can frost with whatever icing or glaze you'd like. Powdered sugar is a great option too!




Monday, November 7, 2011

Spinach Balls




Life has gotten in the way lately. 

I haven't had the time I'd like to spend in the kitchen or sit down with my laptop and share my adventures with all of you.

Between working with a catering company and being a wife and mother the hours in the day seem to escape me.

I haven't forgotten about you my friends.  My posts may be short and to point until after the holidays but, I promise to share something yummy with you when I can.




I made these spinach balls this weekend and they were a big hit!

They are so simple and tasty.




Spinach Balls

3 (6 ounce) boxes of stuffing mix--I used Stove Top Stuffing-your choice of flavor
2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen spinach--thawed and drained
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons of margarine-melted
3/4-1 cup of water



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease baking sheet-set aside

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined and stuffing mix is soft. Add more water if needed to make stuffing soft.

Scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into a ball shape.

Place spinach balls on prepared baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Should make 60-75 balls depending on size.





Friday, October 28, 2011

Beer Cheese Dip with Pretzel Bites





I made this for the World Series game last night. 

 Did anyone else stay up late to watch the two extra innings?

 I did not want to get out of bed this morning...at all!

My husband grew up near St. Louis and is an avid supporter of the Cardinals.  So, one way or another I'm watching my last baseball game of the year tonight! 

You see, I'm not a baseball fan. 

My heart belongs to football!


 
Even though I'm not into baseball I can get into some yummy snacks to munch on while Pujols does his thing.



 

Beer Cheese Dip

16 ounces American processed cheese (like Velveeta)-cut into pieces
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (12 ounces) bottle or can beer (I highly recommend a dark beer)
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add American cheese pieces, cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, beer, hot sauce, paprika, and cayenne pepper to a slow cooker (crock pot).  Heat on low until cheeses are melted; stir occasionally.


The pretzel bites are the same recipe I used for my pretzel rolled hot dogs. But, I used water instead of beer this time.




Pretzel Bites

12 ounces of water
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1-2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda


Heat the water in a saucepan (or microwave) over low heat until it reaches 110 degrees F.
Combine the warm water, sugar, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a bowl.
Sprinkle the yeast on top, and let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.

In a large bowl add bread flour and melted butter.
Add water/yeast mixture to bread flour. Mix with a wooden spoon or use dough hook attachment with a mixer.

Once combined shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees.


Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease with vegetable oil.

Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water; set aside.

Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and stir in baking soda until dissolved.

Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or oiled surface, and roll into a 10x20-inch rectangle.
 
Cut long horizontal lines about an inch wide.  Cut long vertical lines about an inch wide to make bite size pieces.

Drop several piecesat a time into the boiling baking soda water for about 20 seconds.  Don't worry, your pretzel bites won't taste like boiled dough.  This helps them achieve that dark golden brown color.

Reserve baking soda water.

Place boiled dough on cookie sheets at least 1/2 inch apart. If you're baking pans are thin you may want to double stack them so the bottom of the bites don't become too crispy.

Bake in preheated oven.

Brush pretzels with reserved baking soda water starting at about 7-8 minutes of cook time. Continue to brush each pretzel with baking soda water every 2 minutes until.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.
 
 



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Candied Popcorn




I may never eat regular popcorn again!

No, I'm just kidding but this is definietly tasty enough to make again....and again.

There are so many possiblites too.


Let's Get Started:




Candied Popcorn
recipe from eaglebrand.com


12 cups of popped popcorn
1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (3 ounce) package flavored gelatin


Heat oven to 300ºF. Line large shallow roasting pan with heavy foil, extending foil over edges of pan.

Butter foil.

Remove all unpopped popcorn.

Pour popcorn into prepared pan. Keep warm in oven.

Combine sweetened condensed milk and dry gelatin in medium saucepan. Heat and stir over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes.

Pour mixture over popcorn. Stir gently to coat using a long-handled wooden spoon.
Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

 Carefully turn out onto large piece of lightly buttered foil.
Cool.
Break into pieces or clusters.







Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Frisco Patty Melt--Wordless Wednesday


Wordless Wednesday


Let's Get Started:


Frisco Patty Melt
Copycat version of Steak 'n Shake
Slightly adapted from here


1 lb ground beef or 1 lb chuck
8 slices sourdough bread
1 tablespoon butter 
2 tablespoons onions diced fine
8 slices American cheese
4 slices swiss cheese



Frisco Sauce-2 versions

4 Tablespoons Thousand Island Salad Dressing
2 Tablespoons Ketchup

or

4 Tablespoons Thousand Island Dressing
2 Tablespoons French Salad Dressing

I made both and we like the Thousand Island and French Salad dressing combo best.







Combine Thousand Island Dressing and ketchup or French Dressing thoroughly, set aside.
Form ground beef into 8 thin patties.
Pan fry to desired doneness, set patties aside.

While patties are cooking, lightly toast all 8 slices of bread.
Drain the excess fat from the skillet, add 1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine to the skillet (medium heat) and add all the onions when butter has melted.
Cook onions 2-3 minutes or until softened, remove and set aside- do not drain skillet.
Place 4 slices of bread in the skillet (or as many as you can at once; repeat the following steps in smaller increments if necessary).
Cook 1-2 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted. Flip bread and toast other side.
Remove from the skillet, melt the remaining butter and repeat the toasting with the remaining slices of bread.
Top bottom slices of bread with one slice of American cheese.
Layer one beef patty on top of cheese, then a slice of Swiss cheese, another beef patty, another slice of American cheese.
Distribute grilled onions evenly on all four sandwiches.
Spread top slices of bread with the dressing mixture, and close sandwiches.

Reserve any additional sauce for dipping.














Monday, October 24, 2011

Twice as Nice Twice Baked Potatoes





As you may know, I have a new found love for sweet potatoes. 


Specifically for savory sweet potatoes.


So, I'm here to share another wonderful recipe with you.

My dear friend Jennifer, told me all about these delicious potaotes that offer the best of both worlds.


And aren't they the cutest things?



Let's Get Started:



Twice as Nice Twice Baked Potatoes

1 large sweet potato
1 large baking potato
1/2 cup sour cream
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
2 tablespoons chopped chives
salt and pepper

Wash potaotes.

Poke potatoes with the tines of a  fork a few times--so they don't explode.

 Bake potatoes at 375 degrees F for about an hour or until soft. I usually coat my baking potatoes with olive oil and season with a little salt before baking.

You can also microwave your potatoes instead of baking.

Cut 1/4 of the potato off from the top--lengthwise.

Scoop out the inside of each potato and place in separate bowls. The potatoes should look kind of like little boats now.

Mash potatoes with a fork.

Add half of the sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon and chives to each bowl of scooped out potatoes.

You may want more or less sour cream, cheese, butter, and bacon.
I didn't use bacon or chives--just a personal preference.

Stir to combine well.

Season with salt and pepper if desired-Stir

Spoon half of the white baking potato mixture into one side of the white baking potato "boat" and the other half into one side of the sweet potato "boat".

Spoon half of the sweet potato mixture into the other side of white baking potato. Spoon remaining half of sweet potato mixture into the other side of the sweet potato.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.








Friday, October 21, 2011

Homemade Mounds Candy Bars

There is that saying..."you always want what you can't have".

I spent several days without an oven and all I wanted to do was bake!

Without an oven I'm left with my microwave and crockpot. 


Here's what I made instead.






This little copy cat version of the Mounds candy bar has been on my list of things to make for awhile.

No baking required for these yummys!

We all thought that they tasted pretty close to the real thing.

I've got a couple of crockpot recipes I'll share with you in the next post!






Let's Get Started:


Homemade Mounds Candy Bars

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 cups powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) bag flaked coconut
24 ounces dark chocolate chips


Mix the first four ingredients together.  The mixture will be very firm.

Form into desired shape (I formed mine into an oval shape). Place on cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. 

Refrigerate for about an hour.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave on 10 second intervals in a microwave safe bowl.

Dip coconut bars into melted chocolate.  After covering each bar with chocolate I placed them on the end of a fork and tapped them on the side of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate.

Place each bar on wax paper and allow chocolate to harden.

I got 25 candy bars out of this mixture.







Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creamsicle Rice Krispie Treats


RIP my dear oven.

My old, run down oven has finally baked it's last cake, roasted it last chicken, and broiled it's last piece of garlic bread.

It didn't go easily.  There were sparks and even a small fire.  But, in the end....it just couldn't hang on.

I'm not going to mourn for that dear oven.  You ask why? I'll tell you why. 

Because this girl got a brand spankin' new one!

I live on a military post.  Having said that, you are all probably at least a little familiar with the government budget issues going on now.  It's rare that we get anything new.  I'm not complaining, as long as what I have works.  But, standard practice around here is to fix it...not replace it.

So, I had to go a couple of days without an oven or a stove top.  The very kind maintenance man that visited us offered to rewire it so that I could at least use the burners on the old one.

 I politely declined.

 You see, when the old oven caught on fire I grabbed my purse, laptop, and a few pictures (they were on the way) and hauled booty out the door.  I'm a little embarrassed over the way I freaked out about it now. My husband, who bravely stood in front of the oven the entire time, said the fire was out before I hit the door.

So...I wanted nothing to do with that oven.  Nothing I tell you. I wouldn't even walk in the kitchen for more than 30 seconds.  I made my coffee the next morning in my dining room.

It's all good now!  My new oven is so sparkly and shiny! It's even self cleaning!!  I can't wait to cook in it!

Here's a little recipe for a kicked up version of rice krispie treats...or rice crispy treats...or rice krispy treats.  Not sure why it's spelled so many different ways but whatever you prefer my friends.





Creamsicle Rice Krispie Treats

3 Tablespoons Butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup yellow cake mix
3-4 drops orange food coloring
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal

In a large pan over low heat melt butter and marshmallows.

Remove from heat and stir in cake mix, food coloring, and extract one at a time until well combined.

Spray large bowl with cooking spray; combine cereal and marshmallow mixture.  You may want to spray your spoon and/or hands with cooking spray also. 

Stir until well combined.

Press into a 9 x 18 pan.

Let set for 30-1 hour.  Cut into pieces and store in an air tight container.


As you can see, I added some Halloween colored sprinkles!!

I actually melted the marshmallows in the microwave this time but I prefer melting them on the stove.



You can sub red food coloring and strawberry extract to make Strawberries and Cream Rice Krispie Treats!





Monday, October 17, 2011

Roasted Banana Pudding



This is the first time I have ever roasted a banana.

Honestly, it's the first time I have ever roasted fruit!

It's also the first time I have ever made pudding from scratch.

It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I loved this pudding and so did my family.

The original recipe calls for three bananas to be sliced and two are to be  mashed.  I did the opposite.  I like the banana flavor more than I like the actual banana pieces in my pudding.


Let's Get Started:





Roasted Banana Pudding
recipe adapted from myrecipes.com


5 ripe unpeeled medium bananas (about 2 pounds)
2 cups half-n-half 
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
45-55 vanilla wafers, divided 


 Preheat oven to 350°.

 Place bananas on a jelly-roll pan covered with parchment paper.

 Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

 Remove 2 bananas; cool completely.

 Peel and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Bake the remaining 3 bananas at 350° for an additional 20 minutes.
 Carefully peel and place the 3 bananas in a small bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth.

*The original recipe calls for 3 sliced bananas and 2 mashed bananas.  If you want more banana pieces in your pudding you may want to do this.  


 Combine half-n-half and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer (do not boil).

 Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Slowly add hot half-n-half mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. It's very important that you mix these together very slowly and stir constantly. If the hot mixture is added too quickly it can cook the eggs!  So take it slow and don't stop whisking!

 Return this combined mixture to pan.
Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add mashed bananas, butter, and vanilla, stirring until butter melts.

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally. If you don't have a large enough bowl, fill the bottom of your sink with ice.

Fold half of whipped topping into pudding.

 Spread 1/2 of the custard evenly over the bottom of an 8x 8-inch baking dish. Top evenly with  vanilla wafers and half of the banana slices.

 Spoon remaining custard over banana slices.

Repeat procedure with vanilla wafers, banana slices.

Spread remaining half of whipped topping evenly over top.

Crush several wafers; sprinkle over top of whipped topping.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

The longer it's in the frig---the better it is!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pretzel Rolled Hot Dogs




These little pretzel rolled hot dogs have been on my list of things to make for a while now. 

They are perfect to munch on while watching a football game.


The pretzel dough is made with beer but you can substitute water or non alcoholic beer if that suits you better.

Let me state clearly that I'm not an expert on the subject but from what I've read there are only trace amounts of alcohol, if any, left when you cook with beer. So then whatever is left, is then dispersed throughout the entire recipe. If you've got any concerns just sub the beer for water. I like cooking with beer but have children so I did a little research to be sure that it was safe for them.

Also another note when cooking beer, I've found that using a darker beer tends to add better flavor.  I used Yuengling beer for the pretzels.






Let's Get Started:


Pretzel Rolled Hot Dogs
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com


1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle room temperature beer
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1-2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1/4 cup kosher salt, divided - or to taste
18 hot dogs









Heat the beer in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches 110 degrees F.
 Combine the warm beer, sugar, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a bowl.
Sprinkle the yeast on top, and let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. 
In a large bowl add bread flour and melted butter.
Add beer/yeast mixture to bread flour.  Mix with a wooden spoon or use dough hook attachment with a mixer.
Once combined shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees.


 Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease with vegetable oil.


Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water; set aside.

Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and stir in baking soda until dissolved.

 Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or oiled surface, and roll into a 10x20-inch rectangle.

Cut the dough into 18 1-inch wide strips, then wrap each strip tightly around a hot dog, pinching the edges to seal, and leaving the ends open. About half an inch of hot dog should peek out of each end of the dough wrapper.


Drop 2 or 3 dough-wrapped hot dogs into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Don't worry, your pretzels won't taste boiled.  This helps the pretzels acheive that dark brown color.

Reserve baking soda water.

 Arrange the boiled hot dogs on the prepared baking sheets. Be sure to allow about an inch if not more between hot dogs.  If you don't have enough room to do so, you may need to turn hot dogs on their side for an extra 2-3 minutes of cooking time (I had to do this with a few of mine).

 Brush each pretzel dog with the egg yolk mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup salt. *I didn't add salt, just a personal prefrence.

If your baking sheets are thin, you may want to stack two on top of each other to prevent the bottoms from over browning.


Bake in the preheated oven.

Brush pretzels with reserved baking soda water starting at about 7-8 minutes of cook time. Continue to brush each pretzel with baking soda water every 2 minutes until.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.