Dessert

Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake

Chocolate, moist and absolutely delicious!  This is what you will get if you make this cake.  We were having our friends in one night for some wine and dessert.  I looked through the folder of recipes that I wanted to try and found this one.  It has been hanging around for quite some time and i thought what goes better with wine than chocolate.  And in this definitely fit the bill.

The coffee added brings out the flavor of the chocolate and the whiskey adds great flavor.  The recipe said it would taste even better the next day, and it sure did.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan

1 1/2 cups brewed coffee

1/2 cup American whiskey

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Garnish: confectioners sugar for dusting

PREPARATION

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 10-inch bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
  2. Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
  3. While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.
Dessert

Little Lemon Love

Wanting to have a little sweet dessert but not wanting to have a big cake sitting around tempting me, I turned to a blogger I like – Dessert for Two.  
These little ramekin cups hold a delicious Lemon Cake that satisfied my sweet tooth.  The original recipe was for two cakes, but having 3 people at dinner one night I doubled the recipe. Now your thinking that there was one leftover….not realy.  Our  son loved his so much he had the spare cake!
Please note the recipe below is for 2 cakes.

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (or full-fat yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, as needed

Instructions

  1. First, spray 2 6-ounce ramekins very well with cooking spray, and set them on a mini baking sheet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, sour cream (or yogurt), oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients, and stir gently to combine.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. While the cakes cool, make the frosting: whisk together all ingredients, adding more lemon juice to thin it out to a pourable consistency.
Dinner

Baked Ziti from The Pioneer Women

This is a repeat recipe originally posted in 2014. It became one of the top read blog post back then. It just made a return visit to our dinner table. It is so cheesy and is good I had to share again.

The Pioneer Women’s Baked Ziti is not just your ordinary Ziti. It has ground beef and sausage and tons and tons of cheese. It is a very hearty meal that will please your family.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
Two 14.5-ounce cans tomato sauce or marinara sauce
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ziti
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, grated
One 15-ounce tub whole-milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for sprinkling
2 eggs

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook until browned. Drain off almost all of the fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a simmer and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove 3 to 4 cups of the cooked sauce to a bowl to cool down.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the ziti until not quite al dente.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, eggs and some salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps). Add the cooled reserved meat sauce and toss to combine.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta and the remaining sauce and mozzarella.Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before

Dinner, Seafood

Sesame Shrimp and Greens with Rice

Fresh off the grill

I love nothing better than cooking on the grill. The main reason is that food taste so good when it is grilled, but even better….less kitchen clean up. There is very little pots and pans to deal with which means more time for summer fun.

So this recipe was a big hit. We saw this on The Kitchen with Katie Lee. The ease of the recipe and the flavors were a big draw. Pair this with a light wine and you have a perfect summer dinner.

Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey 

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 

1 tablespoon grated ginger 

1 tablespoon rice vinegar 

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes 

2 garlic cloves, grated 

1 pound (16 to 20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Nonstick cooking spray, for the foil

2 cups cooked white rice 

4 loosely-packed cups baby spinach leaves 

1 cup 1/2-inch diced zucchini 

1 cup sliced sugar snap peas 

Directions

Whisk soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar, pepper flakes and garlic in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and reserve marinade.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Prepare 4 large sheets of aluminum foil. Spray each with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop 1/2 cup rice into the center of each sheet. Top each with 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup zucchini and 1/4 cup snap peas. Divide shrimp evenly among the packets. Spoon remaining marinade over each packet. Fold each packet to close (not too tight), leaving the seam side up.

Place packets, seam-side up, on the grill. Cook until shrimp is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and open packets carefully.

Dinner

Penne Arrabiata

OMG! Absolutely delicious! One of the best benefits of working from home is that Eric finds great recipes to try and this one was absolutely delicious!

This was a wonderful and very special dinner. The kiddos were out so we made it a special date night, with great bottle of Stags Leap Chardonnay (I know we should of had a red, but we just got our case yesterday of Chardonnay) and a delicious appetizer of arancini from a local Italian market.

As you might be aware Ina Garten is our absolute favorite chefs. We always wished we lived next door to her. Her Penne Arrabiata is easy, elegant and delicious. You can not go wrong making this.

My personal chef at work

Ingredients

2/3 cup good olive oil

1 cup whole peeled garlic cloves (24 cloves) 

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes 

2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds, chopped 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1/3 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving 

1 pound dry penne rigate, such as DeCecco 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving 

Directions

In a medium (10-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the garlic has softened and is lightly browned.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes, place them in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and pulse until they’re roughly chopped. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the food processor and pulse again to chop the garlic. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot with the olive oil, add the fennel, red pepper flakes, red wine, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the basil, taste for seasonings (it will be very spicy!), and keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the penne and cook according to the directions of the package.

Two minutes before the pasta is al dente, using a wire or spider strainer, lift the pasta out of the boiling water and add it to the sauce, along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Spoon the pasta into low shallow bowls, sprinkle with extra basil and Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.

Dinner, Pork

Pork Braciole

Well, while we have been sheltering in place during this Covid 19/Corona Virus outbreak, hubby has been cooking up a storm. I am not complaining, I like to cook too and have been trying some new items and satisfying the request from the kids for some old favorites- (Pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin with carmelized lemons for you know who). Eric likes to find new recipes and enjoys sharing them with us. It gives him something to do when the weather does not cooperate to work outside around the yard.

So, he found this recipe on Food Network one Saturday and Bam, it was on the table the next night. Very flavorful and easy to make. We used a Rao marinana souce to take it over the top.

Ingredients

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley 

1 teaspoon lemon zest 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1/4 cup olive oil

Two 1 1/2-pound pork tenderloins, butterflied and lightly pounded 

6 slices provolone cheese 

1/2 cup dry white wine 

One 25-ounce jar marinara sauce

Directions

 In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lay the tenderloins open and flat on a board in front of you. Season each loin evenly all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lay 3 slices of provolone on each loin. Divide the breadcrumb mixture over the provolone. Roll the loins back up into their original shape and tie in 4 spots with kitchen twine.

Heat a medium straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Sear the pork tenderloins until evenly golden brown all the way around, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate to rest. Deglaze the skillet with the white wine and add the marinara sauce. Nestle the pork back in the sauce. Cover the skillet and simmer until the pork is just cooked through and registers 145 degrees F on an instead-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest uncovered for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.

Cookies, Dessert

Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies

Yummy!

If you know me very well you know one of my favorite Paula Deen recipes is her Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. It is soooooo good especially when you heat it up. It is one of our son’s favorite dessert and a family pleaser.

Then I found a recipe for Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. How could I go wrong. I had to make them, even if it was one week after making Paula’s recipe.

They are so good and already portion size when you make them as cookies. I think I have to make these again real soon..

Thank you to blogger I Am Baker! Great way to get my Paula Deen Fix in.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups  granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, for rolling cookie dough in

How to…

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar until blended. 
  • Add in egg and vanilla. 
  • Add in flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. With the mixer on low, gradually beat into creamed mixture. 
  • Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough and then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place approximately 6 dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake until they no longer appear wet on top, 8-11 minutes. After about 5 minutes, place on wire racks to cool.
Dinner

Tuscan Roasted Potatoes with Lemon

I went looking for a new sided dish to have with dinner over the weekend and I found one from one of my favorite chefs. I have never had a bad experience with an Ina Garten recipte and this one did not disappoint me. We had all of the ingredients, even the fresh Rosemary that I have had growing in my kitchen for the past two winters. The lemon make this refreshing.

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and 1-inch-diced

8 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 large or 4 small branches fresh rosemary

1/2 large lemon, cut in half through the stem and thinly sliced crosswise

3 tablespoons good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fleur de sel

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the potatoes on a sheet pan, add the garlic, rosemary, lemon, olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and toss until everything is coated with oil. Spread out in one layer.

Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, turning the potatoes with a metal spatula every 20 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and crisp on the outside and tender inside. The garlic will be browned and sweet and the lemon slices will be caramelized. Discard the rosemary branches, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve hot.

Dinner

One Pot Creamy Sausage and Shells

So our son Ian is moving off campus this fall and asked us to show him some recipes that he can create on his own. So, we found a new recipe that hit all his food criteria. Pasta, cheese and sausage!

This is a one pot recipe that is from Betty Crocker and was super easy to make. All ingredients are pretty much in the pantry or freezer. (We always have sausage in our freezer) This comes together in about 40 minutes. And is easy cleanup!

Made by our son!

Ingredients

1tablespoon olive oil

1lb bulk mild Italian sausage

1/2cup diced red onion

4cloves garlic, chopped

1/4teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4teaspoon salt

1carton (32 oz) Progresso™ chicken broth

1jar (24.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic tomato basil pasta sauce

1lb uncooked medium pasta shells

1/2cup heavy whipping cream

1/2cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz)

2tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves

  • In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl; cover and keep warm.
  • Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt to oil and drippings in pan; cook over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes or until softened and starting to brown.
  • Stir in broth and pasta sauce; heat to boiling. Stir in pasta; return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 11 to 13 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness and sauce is thickened.
  • Stir in sausage and whipping cream; return to simmering. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and basil.
appetizer

Parmigiana Salsa

OMG…This is so easy and addicting. The reviews I read said it would be.  This makes a ton and can be stored in refrigerator. Hey, you got no place to go….give this a try.

1/2 pound Parmesan, not too dry

1/2 pound Asiago cheese, not too dry

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1-inch chunks. Place the cheese in a food processor with the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and pulse until reduced to the size of fine pea gravel. Stir in the green onion, olive oil and black pepper and pulse again. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.

Dessert

3 Hole Chocolate Cake

Today would have been my father’s 95th Birthday. He passed away about a year after I was married, so he has been gone almost 28 years ago.

Dad’s favorite cake was a chocolate cake my mom would make called 3 hole chocolate cake. The cake was made in just one pan and was a dark chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. He wasn’t much of a sweet eater, except for this cake.

So today in honor of his birthday I decided to make this cake. It is very easy and even easier cleanup!

All dry ingredients mixed together.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water

PREPARATION

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa baking soda & salt) in rectangular baking pan.
  2. Make 3 holes in dry ingredients, put oil in one, vanilla in another and vinegar in the 3rd.
  3. Add 2 cups COLD water & mix. Bang pan on table to get the bubbles out.Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until toothpick comes out clean.

Make a basic white butter cream frosting. Frost, cut and serve.

3 holes, for 3 ingredients
Ready to bake
Candle for 95! Miss you Dad
Yum!