Friday, November 30, 2012

Honey Crostini

Recently, I attended an auction with some friends to benefit the Veterans. At the auction, my husband won some honey. Now, I love honey so it will be put to good use. Even if the kids have a cough, I give them honey and not medicine. My husband brought my son in for a checkup and he had a cough. Our doctor told Chris to give our kids honey and he said that is what Jen already does. Sometimes I impress my husband. 

Honey Crostini
1 loaf of french bread, sliced (my deli sliced mine)
1 apple, sliced very thin
12 slices of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup walnuts

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toast the walnuts for about 7 to 9 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. Place the french bread on a cookie sheet.
  4. Place the french bread in the oven and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  5. Place a thin slice of apple on top of the toast.
  6. Top the apple slice with a piece of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Place toast in the oven until the cheese has melted slightly.
  8. Drizzle a little honey on top of the cheese.
  9. Sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and serve.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago............................I made Breakfast Potatoes
Did you already know..............
-Today, I married my husband 10 years ago.
-We have a total of four children together, 2 boys and 2 girls.
-I still love him.

Happy Anniversary of 10 years!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Smothered Pork Chops

Recently, I attended my son's school conference. It went well and his teacher told me how she liked how happy my son was and that he never complained. So, I told him what his teacher said then I asked him why he was so happy. He looked at me and said, "What is there not to be happy about? I have a good life." Isn't he great? Sometimes I feel like I must be doing a good job on some days. I'm just glad I don't receive a report card since it may say A for effort but C for child arrived at school one day with socks that did not match which would always be my oldest daughter's case since she is adamant about her socks being different. It's a fashion statement.
Since we have been eating a lot of poultry lately, I decided I needed a change and went with some pork chops. These pork chops came out really tasty. It was even husband approved. 

Smothered Pork Chops
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne 
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 pork chops, bone in about 3/4 inch thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:
  1. On a plate, mix the 1 cup flour, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  2. With a paper towel, pat the pork chops dry to remove any moisture.
  3. Dredge the pork chops through the flour and shake off the excess flour.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  5. When the oil is hot, carefully add the pork chops to the pan and fry for 3 minutes per a side until golden brown.
  6. Remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside on a clean plate.
  7. To the skillet,sprinkle a little of the seasoned flour.
  8. Whisk the flour into the drippings until dissolved.
  9. Add the chicken broth to the pan and whisk.
  10. Cook the broth for about 5 minutes until it thickens slightly.
  11. Stir in the buttermilk and return the pork chops to the pan.
  12. Allow the pork chops to cook covered in the sauce for about 5 minutes and the pork is cooked through.
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Garnish with the parsley. 
Recipe adapted from Taylor Florence.
One year ago.........................I made Cheesy Potato Gratin.
Did you already know...........
-Almost 50 million children attended public elementary and secondary school this fall.
-Over 5 million children attend private elementary and secondary school.
-The public schools employs about 3 million full time teachers.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pot Pie

My oldest daughter decided to straighten her hair. So, I am going to take a poll to see what you think. I prefer the curls. She was born with dark straight hair then after a couple of months her blond curls came in and we have never known anything else. What do you think?
Straight? Curly as before? You are welcome to vote here. The next day she washed her hair and the curls were instantly back. I remember how my Grandmother always would curl her hair and Allie has instant curls.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving or a great day yesterday. Did you eat a lot of turkey? Do you have a lot left? My husband loves leftover turkey. How do you eat your leftover turkey? My husband's favorite way is to make a sandwich. My son doesn't care since he just loves turkey. Growing up, my Mom always made a turkey pot pie the next day. My husband is afraid of pot pies because he thinks there are peas hiding out in there. I made his pea free.

Turkey/Chicken Pot Pie
Filling:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and ground pepper
3 cups cooked turkey/chicken, cut into bite size pieces

Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
Salt and ground pepper

Crust:
1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups all purpose flour
8 oz. chilled cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1 large egg, beatened

Directions:
To make filling:
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and potato. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Saute for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Stir in the crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in the turkey/chicken meat until incorporated.
  6. Set aside the filling.
To make the cream sauce:
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup unsalted butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the stock and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens.
  4. Add the cream. Also, add the hot sauce, salt, and white pepper to taste.
  5. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken mixture and mix well.
To make the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the 1 cup of butter into 16 pieces.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the butter with the flour until crumbly.
  4. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper.
  5. Pulse just until the dough forms a ball.
  6. Set the dough onto a clean surface dusted with flour.
  7. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Cut the dough about 1 1/2 larger than the container using for the filling.
To assemble Pot Pies:
  1. In 1 1/4 cup individual oven safe bowls with the chicken filling.
  2. Lay the dough over the dish, making the dough hang evenly over the dish.
  3. Brush the dough with the beaten egg.
  4. Place the dish or bowls onto a cookie sheet lined with tin foil/parchment paper.
  5. Bake the Pot Pies for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately. 
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen Cookbook by Rebecca Rather.

One year ago.....................I made Buffalo Chicken Dip.
Did you already know............
-The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 15 pounds.
-An average Thanksgiving turkey is 70% white meat.
-A group of wild turkeys are called a rafter.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scones

Pumpkin is one of those recipes in which you are a fan or not. I am a huge fan of pumpkin. I'm not picky either I like pumpkin bread or pumpkin pasta. My husband doesn't encourage me to make pumpkin recipes. Maybe he thinks I would go overboard? Unbeknown to him, I have a recipe that recently asked me to make a pumpkin recipe. To please my sister and my love for pumpkin, I decided I would make something for breakfast. Just because it is almost Thanksgiving, the kids expect me to feed them a couple meals before the big feast. Muffins were my first choice but I realized I hadn't made scones lately.
I decided to take one of my favorite pumpkin muffin recipes and adapt it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The dough was sticky but when it came out it tasted really good. So, I tried again the next day and added more flour but I still thought the dough seemed too sticky. However, it still tasted really good. My daughter brought some to school and shared with her classmates. They told my daughter they loved it. I even had a friend sample it and he really liked it. My husband brought three pieces to work for his lunch.
The cream cheese filling spread over the dough
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scones
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup heavy cream

Direction:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar. 
  2. Place in the refrigerator to chill for several hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. 
  5. In a food processor, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Pulse 10 times.
  6. Add the butter and pulse about 10 to 15 times.
  7. Add the egg, pumpkin, and heavy cream. Pulse about 10 times or just combined.
  8. Scoop half the batter and add to the middle of the baking sheet.
  9. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough. (See photo above.)
  10. Cover the cream cheese mixture with the remaining dough.
  11. Bake the dough for about 20 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and cut into wedges and return to the oven. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the center of the wedge is cooked. (If a toothpick is inserted, the center will be gooey due to the cream cheese mixture.)
Recipe inspired by Annie's Eats.

A year ago................................I made Pancakes
Did you already know................
-Pumpkins are native to Central America.
-The colonist cooked pumpkins over hot coals with the inside filled with honey, milk, and spices.
-Pumpkins are grown all over the world beside Antarctica.


Happy Thanksgiving from Sweet Morris! 
I am thankful you took the time to stop by.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week of Thanksgiving

Are you cooking Thanksgiving this year? Have you already started your shopping or prepping? I have already started my shopping but no real prepping yet. I try to get most of the prep work done by Tuesday night like peeling and chopping vegetables. On Wednesday, I will assemble my casseroles so they are ready for the oven the next day. I will check on the star of the meal to see if it is thawed. If not, I will be waking up early to thaw it in the sink. If it is thawed, then I will sleep a little longer since we tend to eat around 3 pm. See I need my sleep since I will be out early Friday morning with my sister. 
In preparation for Thanksgiving, I made up some chicken broth. It really is easy just time consuming. I ended up with 18 cups worth of chicken stock. If I buy chicken stock, it comes in a 4 cup container, so I decided to store the chicken stock the same way but in double lined plastic freezer bags. This way I can lay the bags down in the freezer to save space.
 Chicken Stock
1 whole stewing chicken
2 carrots, unpeeled
2 stalks celery
10 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
5 quarts water

Directions:
  1. Chop the carrots and celery into 3 inch pieces.
  2. Place the chicken, carrots, celery, and peppercorns in a large pot.
  3. Add the water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Once it boils, lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour uncovered. 
  5. Turn the heat as low as possible and simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours.
  6. Remove the chicken and refrigerate it.
  7. Using a large strainer, strain the chicken broth into a large container.
  8. Discard the vegetables and refrigerate the stock.
  9. Once the chicken has cooled, pull off the meat and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days or freeze.
  10. Once the chicken broth has cooled, store in containers or double layered freezer bags in the refrigerator for a couple of days or the freezer until needed.
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen Cookbook by Rebecca Rather.

One year ago................... I made Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoppie Pies.
Did you already know.....
-In 1621, the Plymouth Pilgrims invited the Wampanoag Indians to the first Thanksgiving feast.
-The feast lasted three days.
-The pilgrims used spoons, knives, and their hands to eat the feast since they did not have forks. 

My daughter showing how I double line my freezer bags with the broth:
Really Mom, really?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Green Beans and Bacon with Browned Butter

My youngest daughter has an Easy Bake Oven. She loves it and decided to bake something for us. It doesn't matter what the packet says she tries to place it in the oven like frosting. I'm just glad she asks me right before cooking it. I'm not sure how good baked frosting taste. She did finally find a cake packet to bake. When it came out, she offered all of us a piece. I kindly thanked her but I was full. My husband and son said sure. They both took a bite and left the room. They came and right after they whispered to me that it tasted awful. She hollers, "So, what do you think?" My two guys in unison holler back, "You did awesome!" (while making a face I may add.) I did think it was very sweet of them that they didn't want to hurt her feelings. I did notice they didn't finish their piece.  After they left, my daughter did come in and told me quietly that she didn't like it but she'll try another one later. I told her that she should. When I think back to when I was a kid and had an Easy Bake Oven, I don't really remember eating a lot of them but I just like to bake in it. 
I usually like my green beans plain. For Thanksgiving, we always have green bean casserole but I like to try out new recipes before I decide to make it on Thanksgiving. The kids really liked this recipe with bacon and brown butter. How could they not? I think they would elect to eat their green beans this way everyday.
Green Beans and Bacon with Browned Butter
2 lb. green beans, trimmed
4 oz. bacon
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
  1. In a large saucepan, add the green beans to boiling, salted water.
  2. Cover and cook the green beans for 4 to 7 minutes. The green beans should be crisp tender.
  3. Drain and set aside the green beans.
  4. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.
  5. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  6. In the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low.
  7. Add the shallots and cook for 4 minutes or until just beginning to crisp. Stir frequently. Remove the shallots onto the same plate with the bacon.
  8. Season to taste with salt.
  9. To the skillet, add the butter and melt over medium heat.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium low.
  11. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. Do not stir. The butter needs to become light brown. Reduce heat to low.
  12. Add the green beans and shallots back to the skillet.
  13. Cook 2 to 4 minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  14. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  15. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden November 2012 magazine.

Did you know....................a year ago I made Honey Yeast Rolls
Did you already know........
-In 1963, the first Easy Bake Oven was sold.
-The first Easy Bake Ovens sold for around $16.
-Since the first Easy Bake Oven, there has been 11 models.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Growing Up!

Recently, my Mom gave me a back rest pillow. The kids thought it was the neatest thing. They were more fascinated with the pillow than some of their toys. They placed it on my bed and had to take turns trying it out. Then finally they let me try out my gift which is always nice. They told me to lean back into it and how comfy it felt. Then my son told me to go to sleep. Why he thought I would want to sleep sitting up was beyond me but I pretended to sleep. Anytime I pretend to sleep I make some snoring noises, don't you? My seven year old son started to laugh and he said, "A woman snoring, that is funny!" He knows I don't snore in my sleep and neither does his sisters so he assumes females don't snore. (Good thing he hasn't been around my sister much when she sleeps because I know she snores!) So, it got me thinking about my childhood assumptions.
Childhood Assumptions:
1. Men are serious and don't smile a lot. (My Dad and my maternal relatives did not smile a lot. They are men.)
2. Men do not eat sweets. (My Dad use to eat a lot of candy as a child and outgrew candy plus my maternal Grandfather was diabetic.)
3. Men like beer and women don't. (My Mom very rarely drinks.)

Do you have any childhood assumptions that have changed since becoming an adult? My husband does smile and loves sweets. I will drink a beer once in awhile especially when I am cooking chili since I don't want it to go to waste. 
My oldest daughter asked me to make some steak fajitas. My sister orders this meal a lot so I knew what was in it but had never looked up the recipe since it seemed like a quick meal. I was surprised by all the recipes I looked at wanted me to marinade the meat for hours. Since I had lack of planning, I just used a better cut of meat so it would be tender. We liked it and my daughter was happy. These are the type of meals we serve when my husband is away since he doesn't eat steak and peppers. I think he is missing out.
Steak Fajitas
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz Sirloin Steak, cut in strips
1 Tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 red pepper, sliced in strips
1/2 green pepper, sliced in strips
1/2 yellow onion, sliced in strips
1/2 fresh lime juice, optional
8 flour tortillas

Directions:
  1. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Season the steak with the Montreal Steak Seasoning, a little salt, and pepper. 
  3. Add the steak and brown for about 3 minutes per a side or cook until the desired doneness.
  4. Remove the steak and place on a plate.
  5. Add the red pepper, green pepper, and yellow onion to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Squeeze the lime juice over the vegetables and cook for about another minute or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove the vegetables and mix with the steak before serving on tortillas.
One year ago........................I made Cranberry Cream Cheese Bundt Cake. It was so good that I know what I'll be making this week.
Did you already know....
-Some causes of snoring are excess weight, alcohol consumption, congestion, and exhaustion.
-4 out of 10 men snore and 3 out of 10 women snore per Health 24.
-Snoring can be a sign of sleep apena.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Minestrone

Happy Veteran's Day!

Both my parents were in the military. I remember growing up and my father wearing his uniform. My father had made it a career so we lived all over from Guam and Hawaii to Virginia. Since they served in the Navy, my father told me to join the Air Force. I'm glad I did for many reasons. To this day, I still keep in touch with several service members. I wanted to take a moment to Thank all my fellow Veterans out there and our military members who are still currently serving. It is a tough life. 
Thank you!
I normally do not post two soup recipes in a row but I am cold lately. My oldest daughter is even wearing a coat lately. When there is snow on the ground and it is February, I will have to remind her about her coat but not now. I guess she has to become immune to it once again. The best thing about soups are they normally can be a healthy alternative. I really like soups with lots of vegetables so this is a great pick. This is a great recipe to keep our Veteran's healthy!
Minestrone Soup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 (28 oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup elbow pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Directions:
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the celery and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the green beans, dried oregano and dried basil. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the fire roasted tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the kidney beans and pasta. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked to the al dente or desired texture.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh basil if desired.
 Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger from Food Network.
(If I had planned it right, I should have served a recipe by Sunny Anderson since she is also an Air Force Veteran.)
Did you already know...
-The Veteran's Day National Ceremony is held every year on November 11th at Arlington National Ceremony and it commences with laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at precisely at 11:00 am.
-There are over 23 million Veterans in the United States.
-"1.8 million veterans are women." according to History Channel.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lasagna Soup

I love reading blogs. I bookmark many recipes but it usually takes me awhile to make the recipe especially if it isn't a quick recipe. Plus, I try to take a consensus for the recipe. For an example, I have been trying to make pork chops for a week now. My husband keeps suggesting something else or he will cook. So, I purchased the pork chops so guess what we will be having tomorrow. My husband is normally fine with soup unless it is vegetable then he would rather have chips and dip. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I would be making it real soon. I just said we were having soup.
I will tell you that I blog recipes my family likes. There was no liking this recipe. We loved it. My husband is not a big fan of pasta but he told me that I could cook this meal four times a week-yes four times. My children loved it. My oldest daughter just kept saying.......mmmmmmmm. It is easy. It is cheesy. It is delicious. You really need to try this recipe. It is so much easier than lasagna. You need to try this soup. I guess I sound like Sam I am in Green Eggs and Ham. "Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say." (pg 53) You may want to try it four times a week.
Lasagna Soup
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced stewed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can diced Italian stewed tomatoes
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
7 lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces (about 3" pieces or smaller)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Directions:
  1. In a large pot, heat the ground sausage over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, and salt. Cook until the sausage is browned.
  3. To the pot, add the thyme, brown sugar, the cans of stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Once the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the noodles to the soup and stir. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes or until the noodles are a dente or the desired consistency.
  6. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and stir. Allow the cheese melt for a minute before lading into bowls.
  7. Top the soup with mozzarella cheese and serve.
Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!.

One year ago...................I made Roasted Chicken.
Did you already know.....
-Dr. Seuss was a pseudonym for Theodor Seuss Geisel. 
-Seuss was his mother's maiden name. 
-Dr. Seuss received his bachelor's degree in literature from Dartmouth College. 
-Dr. Seuss continued his studies at Lincoln College, Oxford but never completed his doctorate studies.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chocolate and Oreo Cake

Did you vote? My husband wore his shirt that said Truth and Justice- Vote for Superman. He wanted to make sure everyone knew who had his vote. We brought our youngest children with us so they can be there. Since I finished first, I had my children stand with me at the exit doors. When someone passed us, my son would tell them he voted for Superman. He does love his Dad. Most people smiled at him but one person asked him why he didn't vote for Batman. My son looked at her like why? So, I replied that he would vote for Spiderman if he had the choice. My seven year old son than says that he would vote for Spiderman and Captain America since he has America in his name. The person told him that he couldn't vote for all those people and he said yes he could. I smiled and said he was voting for Congress too. What super hero would have your vote? Mine would be Wonder Woman!
Whoever wins, I just have hopeful thoughts for our nation. Hopefully the economy will improve in our nation and all nations throughout the world. For my positive thoughts, lets eat cake! How about a cake with chocolate and Oreo. Everyone would have something they liked or at least the pink flowers. This cake was really good and I had lots of great compliments. I made some cupcakes with the left over batter. Share the cupcakes and eat the cake!
Chocolate and Oreo Cake
Oreo Layer:
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 egg whites
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup crushed Oreo

Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  5. In another bowl, mix together the egg whites, milk, and vanilla.
  6. To the flour bowl, add the butter and mix until it starts to combine.
  7. Slowly add the milk mixture and mix until completely combined.
  8. Fold in the crushed Oreos.
  9. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until done.
Chocolate Layer:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup crushed Oreo

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line the bottom of two 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, and oil. Heat over medium heat.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and flour.
  6. Pour the butter mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.
  7. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  8. Whisk in the buttermilk followed by the baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
  9. Fold in the 1/4 cup of crushed Oreos.
  10. Fill the cake pan 3/4 full with the batter. 
  11. Bake the cakes on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  12. Remove the cakes and allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cakes onto a baking rack.
  13. Allow the cakes to cool at least 2 hours before frosting.
Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups powder sugar
4 tsp milk
food coloring


Directions:


  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and vanilla together.
  2. Slowly, add the powder sugar and beat until combined.
  3. Add the milk to the butter cream and mix until smooth.
  4. Add a few drops of food coloring. Mix well. Set aside until ready to use.
To assemble:
  1. Place a chocolate layer on the serving platter.
  2. Add a layer of frosting. 
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed Oreo on top of the frosting. Press down.
  4. Place the Oreo cake layer on top of the crushed Oreo.
  5. Add a layer of frosting.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed Oreo on top of the frosting. Press down.
  7. Place the 2nd layer of chocolate cake on top of the crushed Oreo. Press down.
  8. Frost a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake. 
  9. Pipe the roses onto the cake. (I used this technique from I am Baker.)
  10. Make a border around the top and fill in the center with about 1 cup crushed Oreo.
The Oreo Cake was adapted from this recipe. The Chocolate Cake was adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook for Tuxedo Cake. The frosting recipe was adapted from Bakerella.
Did you already know..... 
- Superman was first published in Action Comics #1 in 1938.
-Originally, Superman was dedicated to Truth and Justice then in the 1940s it was changed to Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
-Since 1945, Superman's S Symbol has been trade marked by DC Comics (known at the time as National Periodical Publications).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Blondie

This past weekend was my birthday! It may have just been a few days since my last blog but I'm a year older. With different schedules, I really do not have a lot of time to spend with my sisters (I have three), so I always ask them not to purchase me a gift for my birthday but to bring me out to eat. This way I get to spend some quality time alone with them which I hardly ever get to do. For their birthdays, I take them out so we have some quality time just the two of us at least twice a year. It is very nice.
 Also, my husband took me out to eat with our family and my favorite person. For my birthday dessert, I ordered the Blondie skillet. Oh, it is so good. Now, I have asked my husband many times if he would like some. He always say no. It has nuts on it. Well, I figured I would make some Blondies at home for everyone since I tried not to share my birthday Blondie. (I gave in to my daughter who thought it was best to share which I never mind unless it is my water. For some strange reason, I never want to share my water.) When I made this recipe to share, my husband loved it-let me stress-loved it. I like this version better than the restaurants. I like walnuts but prefer pecans. Try this recipe with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is very gooey!
Walnut Blondie Skillet:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Maple butter sauce:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 8x8 baking pan, line with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pecans. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla to the melted butter mixture. Mix well.
  6. Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the butter mixture until all combined.
  7. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
  8. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center is cooked through or a little gooey in the middles. Set aside to combine.
  10. To prepare the sauce, add the 1/4 cup of butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and maple syrup until blended smooth.
  11. When ready to serve, heat the maple butter sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds before pouring over the warm blondie. 
  12. Top with ice cream and toasted pecans if desired. 
Recipe adapted from Tablespoon.

One year ago.............I was making Sausage, Bean, and Vegetable Soup.
Did you already know............. 
-It may take the Earth 24 hours to rotate once but Mercury takes 59 days to turn around just once.
-Venus rotates once every 243 days.
-Some scientist estimated the Earth’s rotation once was about 6 hours long before the Earth had a moon.

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