Thursday, May 27, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My friend Jayme found this recipe and shared it with me.  It's a much requested recipe and dish for pitch-ins and gatherings.  Everyone who loves buffalo wings, loves this stuff!  The recipe suggests serving with chicken-flavored crackers and/or celery.  We usually use those giant Fritos.  At the end of parties, a spoon has been known to work as well.  It's easy to make, a great no-frill appetizer you can make and just put out.  Chris added some hot sauce called "Widow Maker" he recently got from our friends in Texas Chris and Kelly.  Just enough to give a little extra zing!


Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 10 oz. cans chunk chicken, drained
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 c. ranch dressing
3/4 c. pepper sauce such as Frank's Red Hot
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through.  Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing.  Cook, stirring until well blended and warm.  Mix in 1/2 of the cheddar cheese and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top, cover and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly.  Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An 'Oey Birthday Party!

The 'Oey's ('Oey with a J and 'Oe with a Z) have birthdays about a month-ish apart.  J's is in May and there is this uber-cool park right by his house where the party was this year.  Z had a blast!!

Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Drops

Many years ago, I received Mary Englebreit's Cookies Cookbook as a Christmas gift.  This cookbook is amazing!  It's pages have sugar, butter, and other assorted spice stains from such frequent use.  Chris' favorite cookies are these Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Drops.  I took some to a friend the other day, and he said they were crack cookies.  I totally take that as a compliment!  :-)

So, here you go:

Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Drops

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
3 c. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. raisins

1 c. confectioner's sugar blended with 2 T milk or cream (I usually double that)

Pre-heat oven to 375.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  On low speed, beat in the flour mixture.  Using a large wooden spoon, stir in the oats and raisins.  Spoon slightly rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for about 14 minutes, or until golden brown.  (Watch these closely - my oven only gets to about 10 minutes before I pull them out)  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Brush some glaze on the top of each cookie and let sit until the glaze is dry.

Best Banana Bread EVAH!

I've mentioned before how I think my family plots together to not eat the fresh bananas I get at the store and to let them turn brown so I'll make banana bread.  I love it too so, you know, I secretly love that they do that.  The recipe I use is straight from Betty Crocker and is super yummy!  Light, easy to make, awesome!

Banana Bread

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. mashed ripe banana (2-3 med. bananas)
1/3 c. shortening, margarine or butter (I use un-salted butter)
2 T. milk
2 eggs
1/4 c. chopped nuts (optional - I don't use them)

In a large mixer bowl, combine 1 c. of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add mashed banana, shortening, margarine or butter and milk.  Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till blended, then on high speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in nuts.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 55 - 60 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove from the pan; cool thoroughly on a wire rack.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

For baking, I use my Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pan and instead of wrapping, I use a Tupperware Modular Mates rectangle 4 - perfect fit!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Oh, wow.  Yum.

My mom found this blog - Real Mom Kitchen - and she's got some awesome stuff!  So far, I've only tried the desserts but there are other yummy looking things there that I've got on my list to try.

So, today I tried the Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting.  Again, yum.  I ended up using 6 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting just like the author, Laura.  There was so much of it!  I'm going to have to go and bake another batch of the cupcakes just to use all of it.  (Darn it)  Good thing it'll last a couple days!

Fresh Orange Cupcakes
  • 1 package of yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, sugar, and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Add orange juice, canola oil, vanilla extract and eggs. Blend with the mixer on low speed for one minute, then speed it up to medium and beat for 2 more minutes.
2. Fill cupcake papers about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake at 350F until golden in color and a toothpick test comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.
3. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Orange Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, very soft
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar, then the juice and the zest. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (I added 6 cups total). Use and store at room temperature. (Don’t refrigerate and it will last in a covered container for about three days.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spiced Carrot-Zucchini Bread

I love to bake.  I think it's the start to finish sense of accomplishment, the yummy noises people make when eating my stuff and the OMG smells that fill the house!  I usually am able to with-hold from eating (too much) of what I make and most of it gets shared with family and friends, both Chris' and mine.

I thought I might start sharing some of my favorite recipes here.  There are so many yummo things to bake!

Today so far, I've got a zucchini bread recipe in the oven that came with my new Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pan.  I love cooking with stoneware!  So far, I've got a pizza stone and a deep-dish cooker and now the loaf pan.  Hope to add more to my collection - let me know if you need a Pampered Chef lady!  Mine ROCKS!

So, here's the recipe:

Spiced Carrot-Zucchini Bread

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground cloves
3/4 c finely chopped carrots
3/4 c finely chopped zucchini
1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350*F  Spray bottom only of stoneware loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cloves.
Add remaining ingredients, stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter into pan.  Bake 65-70 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove loaf to cooling rack.  Cool completely.

I will tell you the batter is really dense!  Give me about 40 more minutes and I'll let you know how yummy it is!  My house is smelling fabulous so I have high hopes!