Thursday, December 12, 2013

Girlfriends Christmas Party

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Prep Time: 10mn
Cook Time: 18mn
Total Time: 38mn

*Mandy made a cake with this recipe, used the PB frosting as a filling and then frosted it with stabilized whip cream.  See Mexican Fiesta post from Nov 2013 for the whip cream recipe.  


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into small pieces
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 10 ounces cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup - room temp)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by lining it with paper liners. With your mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, and vanilla and mix to combine. 
  2. Add in sour cream and bananas and mix again, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is getting mixed well.
  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.
  4. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full. You should get about 15 cupcakes from one batch. 
  5. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. With your mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time. When all of the powdered sugar has been added and the frosting is light and fluffy, add in 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter and mix to combine.
  7. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Store in an air-tight container.

Sweet & Hot Rumaki  Bacon wrapped water chestnuts in a sweet hot sauce.
 by Corinne

It's so good, I always double it so we have plenty!

one package of bacon, thawed
2 cans of sliced water chestnuts
box of tooth picks

Sauce:  1/4 cup mayonnaise
             1/2 cup brown sugar
             1/4cup (or less, is recommended! more like 1/8 cup) of "Sriracha HOT chili sauce" this comes in a clear bottle and the sauce is red. 
Cut the bacon into thirds.  Then wrap each piece of bacon around two slices of water chestnuts and secure with a toothpick.  Set them all in a casserole dish close together.  Then mix up the three ingredients for the sauce and spoon mixture evenly over all of them. Try to not get the sauce on the toothpicks.  This makes them easier to eat.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Raspberry Jam Filled Cookies
by Corinne

Cream –
                2 cup shortening
                1 cup white sugar                 1 cup brown sugar

Mix in –
                4 egg yolks            6 T milk                  4 t vanilla
Sift in –
                5 1/3 cup flour                       4 t cream of tartar                
                2 t baking soda                     1 t salt

Form into a somewhat flattened ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill.  (this is a good one to make the night before, or if it’s summer time make dough during day and cook at night)

Roll out on a floured surface.  Cut into circles about 2-2 ½ inches. (you can use the mouth of a glass as a cookie cutter)  

Put a small spoonful of Jam onto center of ½ of the circles.  Using a knife mark an X into the centers of the other half and lay the X halves on top.  Using a fork press around edges to seal and make pretty.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets or Silpats.

Bake @ 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Peanut Butter Balls
by Corinne

Melt together over low heat -
2 sticks of butter or margarine
16 oz. of crunchy peanut butter

In a 2 qt. bowl stir together -
3 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies
1 lb. of powdered sugar

Pour the melted peanut butter mix over the Rice Krispies mix and gently mix it with a large wooden spoon. 

This is the part that the kids love to help with.  They will happily wash their hands if they know they get to help with this fun job!  Using your hands, form the Peanut Butter mix into 1 inch balls.  (I like them to be small enough to eat in one bite if so desired.  Also, you get a better peanut butter/chocolate ratio that way.) 

Melt, carefully stirring over low heat - 
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 bar of **parafin wax  

 **Parafin wax is found by the home canning supplies.  It is perfectly edible, and in this recipe is used to give the chocolate a shiny, glossy appearance.  It could be left out, if you prefer.  I have always used it.

Using a slotted, metal spoon, dip and roll the balls in the chocolate.  Place and cool on wax paper or a Silpat.

Store in a tightly covered container.  I would think that they would keep for a week or two, but they never last more than a few days around here, so I couldn't tell you for sure.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Modern Mexican Fiesta!

These thirst-quenching and pretty little invitations arrived a few weeks before our party.  Love the fun bright colors!

Mandy and Emily put a fun, feminine, pretty twist on Fiesta for this gourmet club dinner.  We all love the colorful, festive atmosphere.

Place cards were tied onto the napkins with some jute and a pepper.

Emily put the menu in her picture frames on the wall--clever!

I think she might have even spray-painted her frames just for this event--love that blue.

The appetizers were delicious.  You really can't go wrong with mexican shrimp cocktails, chips & guacamole, and mahi mahi fish tacos with fresh pico and a lime cilantro crema slaw.  Plus more pretty soda!

Mexican Shrimp Cocktails

Fresh Guacamole and Chips

 Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with fresh Pico and Lime Cilantro Crema Slaw

Mandy and Emily--our hostesses for the evening! 

Tiny bit of trivia--Mandy recently opened her own Shine Hair Studio, and she cuts hair for lots of us in the group. She found out about the spot for her shop at our last Gourmet Club dinner, the Death by Chocolate dinner.  Carrie mentioned that they had an opening in their dental office building.  See, good things really do come of these dinners.  It's a good thing for women to put their heads together and solve the worlds' problems, one bite at a time.  For Mandy, November was a busy month for sure . . . opening her shop and hosting a gourmet dinner.  She did both with great style!

Emily's home was the perfect, beautiful, fun place for a dinner party, as always.

These two are charming gracious hosts who make it look so easy.

They served us family style, which was a fun change of pace.  All of the food was beautifully presented and tasty, too.
Marinated Grilled Carne Asada, Warm Tortillas, Pineapple Spears, Mexican Rice, Fresh Guacamole, Tomato and Corn Salad, Seasoned Black Beans, Fresh Pico

These little cactus plants were part of the table décor, and we got to take them home.  Mandy borrowed some of the other Cacti from her neighbor, who was very skeptical about letting his cactus babies out of his sight.  Luckily no harm was done. :)  Emily found the perfect Fiesta fabric in Boise Idaho.  Nothing like a little road-trip to get what's hard to find in our neck of the woods.
The other take home was delicious homemade salsa with chips.  (My lunch the next day.)
Dessert: Tres Leches Cake (YUM) and Mexican Hot Chocolate (YUM).
Back: Alyssa, Emily, Corinne, Brenda, Mandy
Front: Carrie, Brittany, Tanya, Katie, Holly, Alisha, and Tori
(we missed GG--she was off at the hospital having baby twin boys that day!)

*Marinated Carne Asada*
La Tapatia 2 (Hispanic market off Powell)

*Seasoned Black Beans*
1 Tbsp. oil
1 small yellow onion (diced)
1 Tbsp. garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon powder
1 tsp. cumin
36-48 oz. canned black beans (drained) (or home cooked black beans)
1 C. water (only if using drained, canned beans)
salt & pepper to taste
Sauté onion and garlic in oil, until soft. Add seasoning, beans and water, simmer for 30 min.

*Corn & Tomato Salad*
1 large bag of frozen sweet corn (about 2lbs.)
2 C. cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2-3/4 C. cilantro (chopped)
1 tsp. garlic (minced)
1 jalapeno (minced)
1/2 red onion (minced)
1 Tbsp. olive oil (or grape seed oil)
1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Queso Fresca
Mix all together. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, stir well to incorporate all flavors. Top with crumbled Queso Fresca.

*Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos*
4-6 mahi-mahi fillets or steaks
taco seasoning, or other Latin spices
*Place fish on foil and grill
shredded cabbage
cilantro-lime crema (recipe below)
Pico de Gallo
corn tortillas

*Cilantro-Lime Crema*
1 C. mayo
1/2 C. cilantro (chopped)
1/2 jalapeno (minced)
1 tsp. lime juice
1/1 tsp. lime zest
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper to taste

*Tres Leches Cake* (for 9x13)
2 C. powdered sugar
10 egg whites
10 egg yolks
2/3 C. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1- 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2- 12oz. cans evaporated milk
1 recipe for stabilized whipped cream (below)
fruit or berries
Heat oven to 350
Beat yolks & 1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, until light in color and doubled. Stir in vanilla, milk, flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whip whites and 1/2 C. powdered sugar, until semi-stiff peaks. CAREFULLY FOLD whites into yolk mixture until combined. Pour into greased pan. Bake 35-40 min. Cool completely. Careful skin off very top layer of cake. Mix together sweetened milk and evaporated milk. Pour milk mixture over cooled cake, 1 cup at a time, letting each absorb, continue adding milk until the cake will no longer absorb any more. (it will hold a lot). Frost with stabilized whipped cream and fruit or berries of choice.

*Stabilized Whipped Cream* (Wilton’s)
4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/4 C. cold water
4 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar
Whip cream and sugar, until slightly thick, set aside. In a small saucepan mix together gelatin and water (with NO heat) until thick. Place over low heat and stir constantly until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool (DO NOT LET HARDEN), once slightly cooled,  add to whipped cream and whip until very thick. 

Quick and Easy Blender Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
This super simple blender salsa is a great alternative to fresh pico when tomatoes aren't at their best. I use this all winter long and it's my go to recipe for chips and salsa
  • 1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos. 
Pico De Gallo

Roma tomatoes
Red Onion
Lime juice
Salt & Pepper

Dice the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno.  Chop cilantro and mix all together in a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add lime juice to taste.  


Diced white or red onion
Cilantro, chopped
Lime Juice 
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mash avocados leaving some small chunks.  Add some diced onion, cilantro and lime juice to keep it from browning.  Don't add too much or you'll have a sloppy consistency.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

3 cups milk
3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp vanila extract
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp chili powder
whipped cream for topping

In medium saucepan over medium heat combine all ingredients except chili powder.  Simmer for 5 minutes stirring gently.  

Remove from heat.  Add chili powder for a little spice.  Pour into 3 cups to serve immediately, or set over low heat stirring occasionally.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with Avocado Salsa
serves 12 

2 avocados, chopped
2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
6 cups V8 juice  (I used half regular V8 and half Hot & Spicy to give it more flavor)
2 limes, quartered as garnish
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined and steamed
1/2-1 tsp Tobasco sauce
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a bog container.  Chill and serve with limes and tobasco sauce.

Mexican Rice

1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp oil
1 1/2 cup long grain rice
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
enough water to make 3 cups total liquid when combined with tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder
Cilantro, chopped
Tomato, chopped

Using a large saute pan with lid, saute onion in butter and oil until clear.  Add rice and saute until just slightly golden.  In a large glass measuring cup add tomato sauce and water to make 3 cups.  Add chicken bouillon to liquid and pour into rice.  Stir and cover.  DO NOT open for 20 minutes.  fluff with fork.  Top with fresh chopped cilantro and diced tomato.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Death by Chocolate

You know it's going to be a good party when an invitation like this one arrives!

Hosted by Brenda and Carrie, they went all out with the decorations for our "Death by Chocolate" gourmet club night.  Brenda made these terrific vinyl designs and then decorated the walls of Carrie's living room and dining room with them. 

Since brown is one of my favorite colors, of course I loved this décor!  The cute shaped menus were so fun, too.  Everything about the table settings was classy and rich.

Appetizers were a huge hit.  Chocolate!  Life is short they say.  Eat dessert first, right?  Fresh fruit and chocolate is a perfect combination along with cheese and chocolate baguette and mole stuffed peppers.

This was a delicious chocolate citrus green salad!  So pretty, too.

Our hostesses! In their fun aprons made by Carrie's husband Derek.  He was also their kitchen assistant for the evening.  (Thank you Derek!!)

Chocolate milk.  A classic.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Italian Soda

Roast Beef with Chocolate and Rosemary, Roasted Asparagus and White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes
Back: Tori, Nola, Alisha
Middle: Corinne, Brenda, Brittany, Mandy
Front: Holly, Tanya, Alyssa, Carrie, Emily

LOVE these awesome, inspiring, good women!

The chocolate cake!  I do believe they sampled at least 6 recipes in their quest to find the perfect chocolate cake for us.  I didn't try the runners-up, but this one was a winner for sure for me!

Now that's a chocolate chocolate chocolate cake.

And maybe sometimes in life you may wonder if there is something that can be the answer to every question:

Chocolate.  Chocolate is the answer to every question. 

The take home gifts were so fun!  A box full of the most amazing, delicious chocolate cookies--several different types, some almond roca chocolates (YUM!), the cute chocolate sign, and our chocolate name place holders. (My little kids keep trying to eat the candle, thinking it's candy.)  I loved all of the chocolate wisdom they shared on the walls, the signs, and the take home containers.  Yes indeed, chocolate is the answer to every question.

This was such a beautiful, fun, decadent, delicious evening!  Thank you Brenda and Carrie!

White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes
recipe adapted by me , but found at The City Sisters

6 to 8 extra large potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
1-1/2 cups white chocolate, melted (look for pure white chocolate)
1-1/2 cups milk, heated

Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cool water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander set in the sink.

Return the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and begin mixing. Add in heated milk (not cold) and continue mixing. Add in the melted white chocolate to the still-hot potatoes; stir until the mixture is very creamy. (no butter is needed, the white chocolate takes the place) Serve Hot!

Roasted Asparagus
Bon Appétit, June 2006
2 pounds green asparagus, trimmed
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 450°F.  Brush large rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Arrange all asparagus on prepared baking sheet.  Whisk remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, shallots, and lemon zest in small bowl; pour over asparagus and toss gently to coat.  Spread asparagus in single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast until asparagus is tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
Can be made 2 hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature.  If desired, rewarm in 450°F oven 5 minutes before continuing.  Add parsley and toss gently.  Transfer to platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Roast Beef with Chocolate & Rosemary
Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2006
1/4 cup diced pancetta (about 1 1/2 ounces)
6 pounds roast beef/pot roast
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cranberry juice
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped drained canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Heat heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add pancetta and saute until crisp.  Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain.  Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.  Brown the pot roast in drippings in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch.  Transfer to plate.  Add onions and next 4 ingredients to pot.  Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Add cranberry juice.  Boil uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta.  Return ribs to pot, cover partially, and simmer 1 1/2 hours.  Uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours longer.
Transfer meat to plate; discard bay leaf and thyme stems (herbs will have fallen off stems during cooking process).  Spoon fat from surface of sauce.  Boil sauce until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Return meat to pot.  Simmer to re-warm, about 5 minutes. 
Serves 6 to 8.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
1          ingredients
2          1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature)
3          1 1/4 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
4          1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
5          1 large egg
6          1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
7          1/2 tsp salt
8          3/4 tsp baking soda
9          1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 6-oz. package)
10       3 tsp coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Beat together using a whisk, electric mixer or stand-up mixer the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg until fluffy.
Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture, taking care not to over-mix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Working in batches, drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure there are at least 2 inches between each dough ball.
Bake for approx 8 minutes, until the cookies have begun to brown on the bottom but are still soft on top. Put a small pinch of the coarse salt on top of each cookie and press down gently, to embed them slightly. Bake for another 4-6 minutes, or until cookies are golden-brown.
Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Makes about 30 cookies.
Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

           8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
           4 tablespoons unsalted butter
           2/3 cup all-purpose flour
           1/2 teaspoon baking powder
           1/2 teaspoon salt
           2 large eggs
           3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
           1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
           1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks
Don't worry if the batter seems thin. It should look more like a brownie batter than a cookie dough.
1.     STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2.     STEP 2 In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
3.     STEP 3 Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Everyday Food, September 2003

 Spicy Chocolate Crackled Cookies

12 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided
3/4 cup flour
 or McCormick® Gourmet Collection Roasted Saigon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate as directed on package. Set aside. Coarsely chop remaining 4 ounces chocolate. Mix flour, roasted cinnamon, ancho chile pepper, baking powder and salt in small bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add melted chocolate; beat until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chopped chocolate. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons or medium cookie scoop 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

3.   Bake about 10 minutes or just until cookies are set and slightly cracked on top. Transfer cookies on parchment paper to wire rack; cool completely.

 Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Almost a candy, these are chewy, not too sweet, but very chocolaty

14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup pecan pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 300F. Grease cookie sheets very well. Heat the sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate together in a small bowl over simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Arrange by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheets and baking for about 15 minutes, taking care that bottoms do not burn.  You can also add a pecan to the top immediately after taking out of the oven.

Peppers for Appetizer

8/16oz of Cream Cheese
Mole Sauce  (store bought mole with added wildtree guacamole seasoning, wildtree jalapeno Pepper blend, Salt)
Mini peppers

Heat/prepare mole sauce and blend in small amounts with the cream cheese to taste.  Wash peppers, cut top off and de-seed. Fill peppers with cream cheese mixture, making sure the mixture reaches the bottom of the pepper. Set peppers in individual muffin tins and bake at 350 for approximately 13 minutes so that the peppers are warm, slightly soft, but still crunchy. Drizzle with extra mole sauce if desired.

Cheese and Chocolate Baguette

1 baguette
Dark chocolate bar, broken/cut into small pieces
a mild cheese, sliced

Bake in 350 degree oven until just beginning to melt/warm/toasted

Chocolate Citrus Salad

1/2 cup baby spinach/mixed greens
fresh mandarin oranges
1 oz glazed walnuts (make your own or store bought)
1/2 oz crumbled chevrai
1/2 tablespoon dark chocolate chunks
1/2 tablespoon Orange Poppyseed Dressing (we used private selection from Fred Meyer)



2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  Cocoa( not dutch processed)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk warmed


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling buttermilk (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "Frost with chocolate cream cheese frosting. 10 to 12 servings.

VARIATIONS:ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Cream cheese frosting
1 8oz package creamcheese
1 cube better
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 to 1/2 cup cocoa powder
5 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients well. Beeat on high for at least 5 min. 10 will give you better consistency

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stake Relief Society Dinner

Pork Tenderloins
photo and recipe from the Foodie Sisters

1 package of pork tenderloins (2 tenderloins total about 2-2.5lbs)
4 garlic cloves, quartered/sliced/slivered
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon country dijon mustard (whole grain mustard)
4 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or Herbs de Provence
freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take tenderloins out of package. Rinse and pat dry. Spray a 9x13 baking dish and place tenderloins inside.
Use a paring knife and poke holes on the top side of the tenderloins, about an inch deep. Place a garlic piece into each hole.
(Sorry I forgot to get a picture, but you can see Monica's.)
Make the marinade next. In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk together everything except for olive oil. Then slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking.  Pour marindade over pork and b
ake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, basting once halfway through cooking process.
Once removed from the oven, let pork rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before cutting in.
Don't forget to pour the sauce over it. The sauce is heavenly!

Apple, Walnut, and Mixed Greens Salad

1 salad bowl full of Mixed Greens
3 pcs small radish, thinly sliced
1 pc large red apple, cubed
2/3 cup Walnuts, cut in half
3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
4 tbsp crispy fried bacon pieces

1. Place all ingredients in a salad bowl except the feta cheese and bacon pieces.
2. Drizzle with Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing
3. Sprinkle feta cheese and bacon pieces on top then serve.

Seasoned Rosemary Potatoes

Ingredients (I never measure anything)
Olive Oil
Rosemary (fresh minced, or dried)
Garlic Salt

Slice potatoes into small thin pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle with rosemary and garlic salt. Toss until all potatoes are coated with oil, rosemary, and garlic salt.

Place into 8x11 pyrex dish. Broil on high for about 25 minutes (until potatoes are soft and browned to your liking). Turn every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning and cook evenly.

Sweet Potato Souffle
6 cups sweet potatoes mashed (I use 2-29 oz cans princella brand, can use fresh)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup melted butter
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup evaporated milk
Mix first three ingredients in a mixer, add the next 3 and mix until blended. Pour in a 9x13 casserole dish
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
Melt butter in microwave, add the rest of ingredients and mix well..will look like wet sand. I use my hands to sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. Should not be soupy...if the top is browning too much, cover with foil.

Ganache Brownie Bites

a box of brownies, mixed according to package directions
bake in mini muffin pan

1/2 c whipping cream, bring just to a boil over med heat, remove from heat
1 c chocolate chips, dump into warm cream
let sit 10 minutes
stir with a whisk
spoon over cooled brownies


8-10 medium pears, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs lemon juice or 1 lemon juiced
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c flour
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
8 Tbs butter

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Put pears in large bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients. Gently stir. Add pears into 6 8-oz jars leaving 1/4 headspace. 
2. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add butter and use fork to blend until crumbly. 
3. Spoon topping over pears to cover. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until pears are cooked through and the topping is light brown.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

15 oz. pumpkin puree, I use Libby's canned pumpkin
12 oz. evaporated milk
24 oz. coconut milk
8 large eggs
3 cups dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp salt
1 lb french bread loaf
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup golden raisins                     *** I have never put in the chocolate chips or raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, coconut milk and eggs together and mix well.  In another bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and salt together and mix well.  Combine the puree mixture and brown sugar mixture together and blend well.  Set aside until needed.  You may leave mixture at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with spray grease.  Cut the French bread in to 1/2" cubes and put them into the pumpkin mix very gently toss to help the bread absorb all the liquid.  Pour into the baking dish.  If you are doing the chips and raisins, sprinkle them over the top and gently press them into the bread.

Bake for 45-50 minutes.  If you stick a butter knife into the center of the pudding and it pulls out mostly clean, then it is done.  It is recommended to let it sit for about 45 minutes to cool.  It falls apart completely if you dish it up right away.  It is delicious warm with a fair amount of carmel sauce drizzled over each serving, and then topped with freshly, sweetened Whipping Cream.

Carmel Sauce
4 Tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup cream, half and half or canned milk (I usually use half and half)

Melt butter, add syrup and sugar.  Cook till forms very soft ball stage (takes just a few minutes - I just wait for it to bubble)  Then, add the cream, and gently stir in till well blended.