Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plum Chicken over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Today was a beautiful day. The hubs woke me up early with the smell of sausage and eggs cooking. (That's right ladies eat your hearts out, not only does my husband hunt and gather he cooks and cleans too. How I got him I don't know. Seriously.) So anyway after the not so good looking but actually quite tasty breakfast that I didn't have to cook the hubs took me, wait for it, garage saleing. I know!

We haven't been in quite some time what with buying a house and all but I had cash in my pocket, money to burn. I found 4 things but nothing I was looking for, I found 2 recipe books, a book about low maintenance gardens and a very heavy cast iron outdoor candle holder (keep the skeeters away). Baby Cakes found a deer feeder and an old glass coleman lantern, he looooovvvesss old coleman lanterns, I don't even know how many he has. The truth is it doesn't even matter if we found a thing to buy it's just one of our favorite things to do. Spring really is for lovers.

After all he had done for me today I decided to cook him some dinner to show my appreciation, I say that because I am usually off on fridays and saturdays. Remember Black Cherry Chicken over Sweet Potatoes well this evening I made a version with plum jelly instead of black cherry jelly. So without further ado Plum Chicken over Mashed Sweet Potatoes...

I know it looks just like the other but the taste is so not like the other. If you want to try it just click on, well click this and make it with that recipe only with plum instead of black cherry. (I also pounded out the chicken this time to cut down on cooking time.)

Baby Cakes likes this one over the other. I like both, I'll let you decide for yourself which one you like. Check check check it out (trying to rap there, gosh I am so caucasian).

Until next time,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate "Cheat" Cake

Okay, get ready y'all, I know this looks like any old ordinary chocolate cake but it's not. It's stealthy. There's no way to know by just looking at it. It is the only chocolate cake that I have ever made and fallen madly in love with. (I have a confession- I am not a chocolate person. Crazy I know. Occasionally I'll drink chocolate milk or eat a truffle but that's about it. Bringing me to the reason why I love this cake sooooo much...) The icing on this baby tastes just like the inside of a Lindt Truffle (please tell me you've had one of these before, Please?!!). In fact I am thinking I could probaby chill this icing and scoop out little balls of goodness, dunk them in a chocolate coating and serve them as truffles. But you know what? Who cares about any of that stuff... you have to make this cake. I promise all of you, that everyone, will love it!

It's called a Chocolate "Cheat" Cake because all we are doing is jazzing up a boxed cake mix (I won't tell if you won't) with some pudding and sour cream. The pudding makes it super moist and I don't know a single person who doesn't love a moist cake. The cake could survive on it's own but when pared with this icing, oh lord forgive me for I know not what I do. Yes, it's that good. Baby Cakes took a spoon to it telling me sarcastically all the while that "it's no good, you shouldn't use this on the cake, I'll get rid of it (with his what you looking at pretty boy smirk)". He's silly but he's cute and gosh darn it I like him.

Now on with the show, drum roll please...

Chocolate "Cheat" Cake


1 (18 oz.) box of any Chocolate Cake Mix
1 (4 oz.) box of any Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
4 large eggs


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and grease you sheet pan.

Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer, or just any big bowl, and mix on low for about a minute. Scrape down the sides of your bowl using a rubber spatula and mix again on low for 2 or so minutes. (The batter will be super thick but combined.)

Pour the batter into your pan and smooth it out with your rubber spatula.

Bake for about 30 minutes (mine took about 27 minutes) and just set aside for as long as it takes to cool completely on the counter at room temp.

Fudge Icing


Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (6 oz.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup room temp. butter, 2 sticks
2 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon corn syrup


Get a large bowl, fill it with ice and then set it in the sink.

In a mid size saucepan over medium low heat melt the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup together, stir constantly.

As soon as the mixture is smooth and completely melted turn off the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, until you can see no tell tale sign of there having been powdered sugar. (About 1 minute)

Take the saucepan and nestle it into the bowl of ice- DO NOT GET AN ICECUBE IN THE CHOCOLATE, LORD HAVE MERCY- and beat with a electric mixer on low speed for about 5 minutes. It will be smooth and really thick but still pliable.

Spread it onto the "cheat" sheet cake and you have yourself a winner. Yum-eee! Yum.

(and I know, after seeing all the steps there's no way this could be classified as a "cheat" cake, I just liked the name. XOXO.)

You know, I made this for my father-in-laws birthday and really didn't get to see or hear anyone trying it, other than the BCakes and me, so I don't know that anyone even liked it but it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't. I am making this one again, SOON and I will let you know what my chica's say about it.

Oh and just in case anyone was wondering, this is a mixture/combo from so many diffrent recipes (not one from other bloggers!) that I have tweaked so many times that it has offcially become my own. Wink.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chicken Tortellini Bake‏

Baby Cakes has never had tortellini before and this was the perfect recipe to introduce him to it. He loved it, I loved it. You'll love it.

I got this recipe from Camille over at My Kitchen Cafe and I've been meaning to make it for some time now but I just got around to it. (Honestly? The Hubs said I had to cook something good because he is sick of take-out. I know, such a bad wife!) If this is a prelude to what her recipes always taste like (what I really mean is if all her recipes are this freakin' GOOD), then I will spending much more time scrolling through her blog. Go check her out and check this recipe out. She's got my full attention now. Seriously Yummy!

Chicken Tortellini Bake
barely adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

24 ounces of cheese tortellini
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 or 4 cups (about 4 chicken breasts) of chicken cut up into bite size pieces
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon seasoning blend (your choice)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces (1 cup) chicken broth
small can sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup sour cream
8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheese, any kind you prefer

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook tortellini per package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat. Cook the chicken and onion until done. Add the mushrooms and cook a minute or two longer. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just to get the flour taste out. Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened, this will happen pretty quickly. Mix in the sour cream until the mixture is creamy and slightly thickened. Mix in the frozen peas, they will thaw on in no time at all in the hot mixture. Turn off the heat.

Mix together the chicken mixture and tortellini in the saucepan. Add the cheese and mix it all together.

Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray and spoon the mixture into the dish.

Bake covered with tin foil at 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for additional 20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown around the edges.

This is excellent. There really isn't anything to say other than that,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Burger Delight

Here's another one for y'all from who else but the lovely English Kitchen once again. She calls it Marie's Burger Delight and it is just as she says on her post, "Yes, this is an unusual list of ingredients, but trust me when I tell you that this is fabulously delicious. Everyone loves this. You will too." I agree 100%. Even the hubs agrees 100%. He gives this one a "this stuff is the bomb" two thumbs up.

I am going to be completely honest here and tell you guys that at first, while cooking this dish, I was a bit peeved about all the pots and pans it takes to make it. All I kept thinking was if I had made regular spaghetti it would only take 1 pan and 1 pot, this recipe just adds another dish to the sink, it better be worth it. And even while tasteing I kept turning up my nose and asking what the big deal was. Let me tell you though, that some kind of magic happens while it's in the oven and when you taste it- oh my goodness!, knock your husband out good. (Food doesn't make me hit people, promise, well, maybe some things would but I can't think of anything right now.) Not kidding this recipe is that good. Who knew that all the odd items thrown together in this dish would be this yummy. I can't explain it but you have to try it.

Burger Delight
tweaked a tiny bit from Marie's Burger Delight

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 beef bouilon cube
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
1, 00 oz. can of creamed corn
1, 00 oz. can of condensed tomato soup
1/2 jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce
box of spaghetti noodles, broken into small peices
1 1/2 cups, grated, of a italian cheese mix

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, onion, garlic, crumbled beef cube, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, and stir until the meat is nicely browned and the vegetables are soft. Stir in the corn, tomato soup and the spaghetti sauce. Mix together well, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, according to your package directions. Drain well and then stir the cooked spaghetti into the meat mixture.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Stir half of the cheese into the spaghetti mixture. Lightly grease a casserole dish. Pour the mixture into the dish and then cover with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until nicely browned on top.

Remove from the oven and serve hot with some crusty bread and a crisp green salad.

Once again nom, nom y'all,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Salmon Potato Casserole

Oh my goodness, it tastes like tuna noodle casserole on steriods, wait there isn't anything appetizing about steriods much less tuna on steriods. Okay it's like a heartier, richer, creamier tuna noodle casserole. Seriously that's just what it tastes like, tuna noodle casserole. It's worth all the steps though, not to mention the pots and pans, because like I said above it's creamier. Say it with me creamy mmmmmmm.

Apparently I am in-like with this women, The English Kitchen. While scanning through her blog I came across quite a few dishes that I just have to try but this one seriously reached out and grabbed me. Baby Cakes is going to love this one (he loves canned salmon, I don't know why other than he loves Salmon Patties, which I've actually made several times for him and yet have never blogged? Hmm, curious). Seriously, if you have yet to check out her recipes go, what are you waiting for? Go! (Up top, click on The English Kitchen.)

I did adapt it a bit and have decided that the next time I make this I will actually try it with freshly cooked and flaked salmon. So, I'll be adapting my adaptation. I experiment in my kitchen, that's just what I do.

Salmon Potato Casserole
adapted from Salmon Casserole Bake

1, 14.75 oz. can of pink salmon, drained (skin and bones removed)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 stick of butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chives, chopped (last minute add in)

For the sauce:
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons plain flour
a dash (or four) of hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
8.5 ounces milk (2 1/2 cups)
4 ounces heavy cream (1/2 cup)

1 cup bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon butter melted


Place the cubed potatoes, onions, olive oil and butter into a saucepan over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until completely fork tender, you want them solid but tender, stirring pretty regularly. Pour into a bowl and add the salmon (skin and bones removed if you'd like) and the frozen peas; mix together and set aside.

Butter a baking dish and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium high to low heat and whisk in the flour; cooking for one minute (you're basically making a roux). Next whisk in the milk and cream and stir until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce.

Pour the cream sauce over the potato, salmon and pea mixture; mix gently to combine. Stir in the chives and then spread the mixture into the prepared, buttered, baking dish.

Mix the bread crumbs and butter together. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

I emplore you, make this dish. Happy casseroleing y'all,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cheesy Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Soup

Mother Nature in all her glory gave me one more cold snap, just for soup. Y'all know I love me some soup. This one is amazing, seriously.

I found this recipe on another wonderful blog called The English Kitchen. I emplore you, go check Marie out.

Her recipe was a bit different, I didn't have everything on hand so I changed a few things. Next time I plan on even doing a few more things. Try it, try it, try it.

Cheesy Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Soup
adapted from Cheesy Cabbage Soup

12 ounces streaky bacon, chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 cups green onions, chopped
1 small/medium head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
64 ounces chicken stock
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp seasoning blend, your choice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
6 ounces heavy cream
1 tsp dried dill tops
a few dashes of tabasco sauce

Brown the chopped bacon in a large saucepan over medium high heat, stirring, until partially crisp. Scoop out the bacon with a slotted spoon and just set aside.

Add the chopped onions and cabbage to the bacon drippings. Saute until the cabbage and onions are done, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chopped potatoes and the chicken broth; add the parsley, red pepper flakes and seasoning of your choice. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a pretty steady simmer. Simmmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are quite tender.

Just before serving turn the heat off and add the cheese and cream. Stir to melt the cheese. Add the cooked bacon, chives, dill and tabasco sauce.

Serve hot with something crunchy like crusty bread or croutons. Yum!

Happy Munching,

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