Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My cousin Jamie gave me this recipe with the instructions "it MUST be served over ice cream". Well, Abbott eats ice cream like it's going out of style. If I buy a carton of ice cream at the store he will devour it in days. So we usually don't have ice cream but we ate this cake with whipped cream and it was good! It was reminiscent of my dad's Wacky Cake. I like that it uses ingredients that I always have on hand!

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa Powder
1 1/4 cups hot water

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Pour batter into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together the brown sugar and remaining cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top; do not stir.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes.

White Castle Sliders

Monday, April 27, 2009

I grew up on White Castle sliders, they are the best! Well, our local White Castle closed many years ago so we have been without until I saw this recipe. I was skeptical at first but these were legendary good! Soooo delicious!! But beware they are greasy (just like White Castle) and you do pay the piper in the end (every bathroom in our house had a queue line). However, I still can't wait to make them again! I swiped this recipe from Donna-FFW (Fire Fighter Wife) blog. Donna's risque humor is hilarious! She entertains me while posting yummy recipes, I love her blog!

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
Sara Lee Classic Dinner Rolls (they're in the bread isle at my supermarket), sliced in half
Optional- Cheese slices

In a large bowl mix (with your hands or a spoon) the hamburger, Lipton onion soup mix, peanut butter, and milk. Spread the meat mixture on a cookie sheet with a lip. Abbott was my helper, he loved spreading the meat out on the pan!

Use a cup or rolling pin to roll over the meat to smooth it out.

Put it in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The meat will skrink... Take it out of the oven and put the diced onions all around the edges to flavor the meat. Place back in the oven for about 10 minutes. The onions added more onion flavor than Justin and the boys would have liked so next time I am only putting onions around 1/2 the meat (for my non-onion eaters). Take it out of the oven. If you want onions on your sliders then spoon them onto the meat from the sides. Add your cheese slices... And add the tops of your rolls (the bottom part of the rolls will just sit on the counter). Put it back in the oven for... you guessed it, another 10 minutes! Take it out of the oven, they're done! Slice the meat with a pizza cutter and pick up the slider/top bun with a spatula and set it on the bottom bun.

Dawn's Buttercream

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I am a teacher at a High School and they asked if I would help make cupcakes for today's Prom, how exciting is that?! I absolutely love my job and I love the people I get to work with! Dawn, Mary, and I (the technology team) spent the entire day making cupcakes! We used Dawn's Buttercream recipe which uses almond extract, I've never had almond extract before but it was SO good in the frosting, not nutty at all, it was more like a citrus flavor! Click on the pictures to see a full screen version, in full screen you can really see the cupcakes sparkle!

Here's Dawn (she's a hoot) mixing her famous frosting. I ate so much of this icing I embarrassed myself!
Here I am piping the icing onto the cupcakes using my Wilton 1M tip, my favorite decorating tip to use on cupcakes!
Here's Mary (the nicest person I know) sprinkling edible glitter on each cupcake, the glitter really made these cupcakes look amazing! Mary called it her magic fairy dust and she had to refrain from making a "twinkle twinkle" noise every time she sprinkled it, hehe
1 cup shortening (Dawn uses Crisco)
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons water or milk (Dawn used water so the frosting didn't have to be refrigerated)
2 tablespoons meringue powder

Cream shortening, water and flavoring. Add powdered sugar and meringue powder. Mix until blended. Add additional water until you reach the desired consistency. Stiff icing is good for some flowers, Dawn likes the soft consistency for icing cakes and a medium consistency was great for the cupcakes we made. If you want really white icing be sure to use a clear extract. If you use regular vanilla extract instead of the almond it makes the icing off white.

We had probably 8 boxes of cupcakes total. These 2 boxes showed each of our flavors though, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cupcakes with purple, white, and blue frosting.

Boston Cream Cake

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Justin and I used to get Boston Cream Pie all the time but we hadn’t had one in years! When I saw this recipe online I couldn’t wait to try it! It was easy and yummy. I feel like I call everything yummy, delicious, tasty, scrumptious, or wonderful. I lack creativity in food adjectives, I think it’s because I don't like food words used not for food. Like… marinate on that, deliciously funny, he’s tasty, digesting what you're saying, etc. It’s just weird; and it makes me hungry!

1 box vanilla cake mix (plus water, oil and eggs according to the box)
1 package JELL-O French Vanilla Instant Pudding (PLUS whole milk according to "Pie Filling" directions on the box)
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Bake and cool the cake according to package directions in two 8" round pans. While cakes are cooling, prepare pudding according to "Pie Filling" directions on the box. Split each cooled cake layer into two. Spread 1/3 of the pudding on each of the first 3 cake layers, leaving about 1/4" space around the edges. Place the last layer of cake on top. In a measuring bowl, combine chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Stir with a rubber spatula. Microwave for another minute on high. Stir until no lumps remain. Chocolate should be thick but pourable. Pour about 1/3 of the chocolate over the top of the cake. With an offset spatula, spread the ganache over the top of the cake and let it begin to spill down the sides. Slowly continue to add the chocolate a little at a time, letting it spill down the sides a little more each time. When all the chocolate is on the cake, smooth the sides. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Chicken Parmesan

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today was a wake up call that the cozy days of winter are over and summer is almost here. In class my students reminded me that there are only 4 weeks left in school, which doesn’t work very well with the 6 weeks worth of activities I have planned, yikes! It’s amazing how quickly time passes as I get older, a month will fly by in what I could have sworn was a week. Even scarier is that a year seems to go by as fast as a month used to seem. I feel like I just got to know my students and now it’s time for them to leave me, it’s sad! So we needed some comfort food and this chicken parmesan didn’t disappoint. There’s nothing like a dinner full of carbohydrates and tryptophan to sooth away stress, hehe!

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Spaghetti noodles (boil them while the chicken is cooking and serve them with the chicken parmesan)

Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Rinse chicken breasts and dunk in the beaten egg, then cover with bread crumb mixture. Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with marinara sauce and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, then add the Mozzarella and cook for five more minutes.

French Toast

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I love french toast! A couple times a month I cook what we call "big breakfast", which is whatever anyone wants (usually french toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, and scrambled eggs). There is nothing better than a humongous breakfast, it stays with you all day long! No seriously... the smell stays with me all day long; Justin will snuggle with me a little closer that evening because I still smell like bacon. I have loved this french toast since I was a little girl, I don't need any maple syrup just lots of powdered sugar!

2 eggs
1 cup milk
6 slices of bread
1 tablespoon butter or non-stick cooking spray

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray the skillet with non-stick spray or melt a little butter. Beat together the milk and eggs. Dip the bread slices in egg mixture on each side until thoroughly coated. Place the soaked bread in the skillet and cook bread until both sides are lightly browned and crisp. Serve hot and smother with powdered sugar!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Butterbeer is the drink of choice for young wizards in the Harry Potter books. We loved the Harry Potter series! Everytime a new book was released we would go to the midnight Harry Potter party at Borders Books, purchase the new book, and then go to Ihop for midnight pancakes. It was so much fun! The last Harry Potter book was released in 2007, here we are at Ihop eating our midnight pancakes...We would devour the Harry Potter books as soon as we got them. The boys weren't old enough to read the books by themselves so I would spend the next few days reading aloud to them. Andrew has become quite the reader though and this year he decided to read the Harry Potter books himself. He started reading the first Harry Potter book in September and finished the last book in February. That's 7 books... 2,421 pages! He enjoyed them so much and I loved watching him go through the adventure, they are so exciting! I can't remember where I heard about this recipe for ButterBeer but I thought it would be a fun drink (and it was)!

Cream Soda
Werther's Hard Candy (or any butterscotch candy)

Drop a Werther's candy into a cold glass of cream sodaStir the candy and soda. The boys loved watching the soda bubble around the butterscotch candy. They stirred theirs drinks for a LONG time

Zucchini Bread

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I got zucchini in my Door to Door Organics co-op box this week and I was determined to get Justin and the boys to eat some. I made this bread and surprise-surprise they loved it! It was very addictive because we ate an entire loaf in 1 day!
My life could be a sitcom, remember how I called myself frugal in my previous post? Well, last night Justin said we couldn’t spend anymore money until Friday. I said “no problem honey, you can count on me, I won’t spend a penny”. Well…. I stayed home sick today with an awful sore throat and I had to go to the doctor-$20, the doctor gave me an antibiotic-$10, the boys each had a note from school saying their lunch account was empty-$50, and my van was out of gas- $40! That’s $120 I spent today after promising my husband I wouldn’t spend any money until Friday. Lol, he’s going to kill me!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce for a healthier version)
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (3 small zucchini or 2 large zucchini)
1 cup chopped walnuts (we don’t like walnuts so I leave them out)

Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and mix together, the dough will be very thick and sticky. Mix in the zucchini and walnuts, the water from the zucchini will add the much needed moisture to the batter. Bake in two greased 8 x 4 inch pans at 325 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Baked Pasta

Monday, April 13, 2009

This baked pasta is so easy, you can't mess it up! It's one of the few recipes I make with different ingredients each time depending on what I have in my pantry. I am frugal... hmm, I don't know if I'm frugal or thrifty. What's the difference? I think a thrifty shopper buys cheap things they don't need and a frugal shopper buys items they need at a good price. So according to my definition I qualify as frugal. I fight poor Justin kicking and screaming when he wants to purchase something, I even made him go without a TV for a few months when ours died in a lightening storm. So I LOVE when we skip our grocery store trip and live off what we have in our pantry/fridge. It's like an Iron Chef challenge trying to figure out how to use the food we already have! So if you make this baked pasta all you really need is pasta and sauce, try looking around your pantry/refrigerator to find other ingredients (veggies? cheese? meat?), it's fun! Here's what I used...

1 bag of pasta
1 large jar of spagetti sauce
1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound ground beef
Italian seasoning
Minced garlic

Boil the pasta while you brown the ground beef. I added around a tablespoon of Italian seasoning and minced garlic to my ground beef while it cooked. I would have added an onion or some spinach too but we didn't ave any. When the beef is brown add the spagetti sauce and turn the heat off. Drain the pasta and stir in the spagetti meat sauce. Put it all in a 9x13 casserole dish, stir in the cheese, cover with foil, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Hamburger Cupcakes

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Today is Andrew's Birthday, woohoo! We always take birthday treats to his class and this year he wanted cupcakes that looked like hamburgers! My friends helped me figure out how to assemble/decorate the cupcakes and they turned out really well! Andrew's class was excited but as I passed them out kids said things like "I don't like mustard on my hamburgers", I had a difficult time getting some of the kids to realize they were cupcakes not hamburgers. That was funny! They tasted good too, I didn't know how brownies and cupcakes would go together but it was perfect!

White cake mix (with the oil and eggs needed to prepare it)
Brownie mix (with the oil and eggs needed to prepare it)
Red, yellow, and green food coloring
Optional- seasame seeds and corn syrup
Easy Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar
3-6 tablespoons milk

Directions *click on the pictures for fullscreen view
Prepare the white cake mix according to the directions and bake in cupcake pans. I made my cupcakes the night before I decorated them so they could rest in the refriderator overnight, because the cupcakes are less crumbly when you cut them in half when they're cold. Store the cupcakes in a ziploc bag overnight.

If you don't have time though you can cut your cupcakes the same day you bake them, they will just crumble a bit. Either way, slice your cupcakes in half.

Mix the buttercream frosting ingredients together in a large bowl. Scoop the frosting into smaller bowls to color it. I colored 1/2 of the frosting green, 1/4 red, and 1/4 yellow. The "lettuce" is the first layer you will apply to the base of the cupcake. I used a Wilton 67 tip and started on the outer rim of the cupcake going in a circle working my way to the inside. I kept a steady squeeze on my icing but I moved the tip up and down, like it was a bunny rabbit hopping around in circles.

Next up is the "hamburger patty" so prepare the brownie mix according to the directions but bake them in cupcake pans. Don't put very much brownie batter in the cupcake tray though or your hamburger patties will be too tall. When the brownies have cooled lay them on top of the lettuce.

Now for the "ketchup" and "mustard". I used a Wilton 4 tip for the ketchup and a Wilton 2 tip for the mustard. I did the red first doing zigag lines then went over it with yellow zigzag lines in the opposite direction.

The picture Andrew had previously seen had seasme seeds on the tops of the hamburger cupcakes but in the future I think I will leave them off or try and sprinkle them on the cupcake batter before baking. What I did this time was dab a bit of corn syrup on the top of each cupcake and sprinkled the seasame seeds on them. The seeds looked great and stuck to the cupcakes but so did everyones fingers, the tops were very sticky!

Poor Man’s Lobster

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Even though we try not to go out to restaurants any more we still go out on birthdays. For the boys' birthdays they usually want crab from Red Lobster, they gobble up crabmeat faster than Justin and I can shell it for them! So when I heard of this recipe I thought it might be a hit with my crab eaters. Everyone seemed to like it but me… it was weird for me to eat. It really did taste like crab/lobster but I knew it was fish and I saw it boil, so my mind was too confused to let my taste buds enjoy it. I couldn’t convince Andrew to choose this dinner for his upcoming birthday instead of going to Red Lobster but he said he definitely wants me to make it again.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds of your favorite white fish
2 quarts water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 lemon
Melted butter (sweet cream works great)

In a pot bring the water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Cut the fish into 2-3 large chunks (so it cooks faster) and add to water. Boil for about 10 minutes or until fish is nice and flaky. In the meantime, melt butter in small dipping bowls. Remove fish from water, squeeze a little fresh lemon on it and serve with the melted butter (I like to completely submerge my fish in the melted butter, much like you would do with crab/lobster).

Asian Meat Marinade

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I am addicted to ginger and garlic, so it's no surprise that I like this marinade. Before Chad gave us our steak lesson I used to marinate our steaks and chicken in this marinade. I know I am breaking some sort of cross-contamination rule but I put the steaks and chicken in the same bag to marinate and then grill the meat. It makes it easier because we can't have steak in this house without cooking chicken as well (for the non-steak eaters). Justin's lucky I cater to dietary requests at all... he's been ornery lately, embarrassing our children every chance he gets. We were in the diaper isle at Walmart and Abbott secretly pointed and giggled at the "Boudreaux's Butt Paste" and Justin loudly announces "What's wrong Abbott, you don't like butt paste? I love butt paste". It was funny to see Abbott fast and furiously try to hush his father. Poor Abbott...


1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced

Mix ingredients together in a Ziploc bag and marinate meat for 1-8 hours in the refrigerator prior to cooking meat.

My Favorite Vegetable Medley

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I just found out about the most amazing thing! Did you know that there’s an organic produce delivery service in Kansas City?! Well there is! It’s called Door to Door Organics and I’ve signed up to receive their weekly bitty box which is a $26 box of assorted fruits and vegetables.
Door to Door Organics is offered in other cities across the U.S. but it's new to Kansas City. Once I signed up for my bitty box I adjusted my preferences and listed produce that I don’t want to have in my box and put some of my favorites on the "prefer" list. I got an email on Sunday letting me know when my box would be delivered and what would be inside, I could substitute individual items as well... which I did! I was supposed to get fennel but I substituted celery instead. So here's what was delivered to my doorstep on Friday

3 Fuji Apples
2 Mangos
2 Navel Oranges
1 pkg Strawberries
1 Cucumber
2 Red Peppers
1 Romaine Lettuce
1 Celery Stalk
5 Tangelos
3 Zucchini
... all for $26, organic, and delivered to my doorstep! I am in love!
I couldn't wait to use the zucchini and red pepper in my favorite vegetable medley! I love to eat this mix as a side dish but I also LOVE to wrap these veggies in a flour tortilla with a little sour cream for a dinner all on it's own, it's like a vegetable fajita! Seriously I love this vegetable medley, I get giggly and excited whenever I make it!

1 Onion
1 Pepper (I usually use green but had a beautiful red pepper from my organic box)
2 zucchini
1 package of mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sprinkle of salt, pepper, and italian seasoning
Optional- Flour tortillas and sour cream

I coat a large skillet with the olive oil and set it over medium-low heat. I toss the vegetables into the skillet as I cut them starting with the onion and then the pepper (they take more time to cook than the other vegetables). Cook the onions and peppers for a few minutes, you want them to soften up before you add the rest of the vegetables. Next add the chopped zucchini and mushrooms. Stir the veggies and sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. They will cook for probably 5-10 minutes, once the mushrooms have softened and are starting to turn brown it's ready to eat!

Cream Puffs and Eclairs

Friday, April 3, 2009

It’s amazing; I used to begrudgingly make these because I thought they were so time consuming and difficult, so when Chad requested them I was filled with dread. I was surprised how easy they were to make though, not at all what I remember. I’ve been making lots of Perfect Party Cakes and Chocolate Tortes and that’s time consuming (4 hours in the kitchen)! These really aren’t very difficult to make and they are the best cream puffs and eclairs I’ve ever had!

Cream Puff/Eclair Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Puff/Eclair Cream Filling
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix
1-cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream

I start with the filling because it needs to rest in the fridge, so in a medium bowl mix together white chocolate instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Mix until the consistency of cool whip. Cover and refrigerate to set for at least 30 minutes.Now for the dough! In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and stir for 1-3 minutes to cool. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Grease a cookie sheet (or cover the cookie sheet with non-stick foil like I do) and drop by tablespoonfuls onto it. Drops should be the size of gumballs and as big around as a quarter. If drops are too big the middles will not be dry after baking. I have found it best to use a small melon scoop to drop dough or to put the dough in a decorating bag (or Ziploc) and pipe out the small dough drops onto the cookie sheet. If you want to make Eclairs then instead of making a small circle you will draw a line. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 425 degrees in a preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry (I’ve never had trouble with moist centers, this is a good recipe).When the puffs are cool, fill a decorating bag (that has a decorating tip) with the cream filling. You need a decorating tip of some sort to help you poke into the puff. I pick the puff (or Eclair) up and inspect it for a small hole or crease, then I poke my tip into the weak spot/hole and pipe the cream filling in.
You can sprinkle them with powdered sugar or dip them in ganache (it’s so yummy)! To make the ganache combine the milk chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl. Microwave for 15 second increments, stirring after each 15 seconds to see if it’s melted.

Huli-Huli Chicken

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

**Update- Holly from Hawaii left an excellent comment for this post giving some great tips for making this chicken! I wanted to call this recipe “Huli-Huli Chicken (fail)” but I thought that was a bit too harsh. This recipe isn’t inedible or terrible, it just wasn’t that great and the flavors resembled my Chicken KaChow… but KaChow is much better! I got the recipe from Ezra Pound Cake and it looked so good on the website but we won't make it again, hence the “fail”. Justin doesn’t understand why I would even post a disappointing recipe, but to me this blog is as much about my cooking adventures as it is about recipes. Is every recipe I try a winner? No, not even close! So on night’s like tonight when we all try to eat something that didn’t turn out very good it makes us appreciate the “good recipe” nights even more!

1 chicken, quartered (I used 4 chicken breasts)
1/2 cup shoyu or soy sauce
1/2 cup pureed pineapple chunks
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 finger ginger, finely grated
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a medium bowl combine the soy sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, ketchup, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and Worcestershire. Pour half the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag with the chicken. Set aside remaining marinade for mopping chicken during cooking. Refrigerate chicken for 30 minutes. Ezra's original recipe suggests that the chicken be smoked but it was too cold outside so I baked my chicken in the leftover marinade at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes.