Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cbocolate Bottom Banana Cake

I tried this recipe because I love chocolate and I love banana. Well, when you put them together, you have just made heaven! All you chocolate and banana lovers ENJOY!

Chocolate Bottom Banana Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 3 - 4 bananas)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and bananas mixing thoroughly. ( I used a mixer.)
Add the flour, soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Put half the batter in a small bowl. Add cocoa to that half. Spread that portion in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Spoon remaining batter (one without cocoa) on top. Swirl gently with a butter knife and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure batter is done. Cool before cutting--if you can wait that long :-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fresh Asparagus

I love asparagus and when they were on sale I had to buy a bunch. Here is a simple, delicious recipe to make those fresh asparagus tickle your taste buds. I should have bought two bunches, because we were fighting over who got the most.

Fresh Asparagus
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (I didn't measure--just sprinkled on how ever much I wanted)
Remove tough root end from asparagus. (I just bent the end and it broke off beautifully right where it needed to. I've also been told that if you peel the root end it will be more tender. So I peeled the end of the root with my potato peeler after I broke the end.)
Preheat large saute pan on medium high 2 - 3 minutes. Place water in pan and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cover. Cook and stir 3 - 5 minutes until tender.

Drain asparagus and return to pan. Stir in butter and seasoned salt. Serve.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Easy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

I found this recipe on a piece of paper, inside one of my cookbooks and decided to try it. I haven't had a tuna casserole in years. Well, this recipe was so easy (and cheesy) and it was made from scratch--didn't have to use my condensed soups. It was delicious! My husband really loved it! Can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I'd better hide it so my husband won't eat it!

Easy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

12 ounces egg noodles or 8 ounces pasta (I used egg noodles)
2 - 3 cans of tuna (5 oz.), drained (I drained it and then put some lemon juice in it and drained it again. Helps get rid of the fishy taste)
1 onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, cook the egg noodles or pasta according to package directions. Drain in strainer and set aside.

Using the now-empty pot your noodles were cooked in, melt the butter. Add onions and saute until tender. Stir in flour to make a thick paste. Add milk, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until bubbly and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Add drained tuna to sauce and add cooked noodles or pasta, stirring to coat. Stir in mozzarella cheese.

Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish and top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Onion Roasted Potatoes

Here's another side dish that I made last week that was very tasty and easy to make. I found the recipe in a cookbook that my daughter-in-law Brandi had. It may have even been her sister Nicole's recipe. Well, wherever I got it, it was good. My family enjoyed it.

Onion Roasted Potatoes

1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
4 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into large chunks
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a 9 x 13 pan, combine all ingredients. Bake about 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Creamy Noodles and Rice

I found this recipe on the back of a Campbell's Noodle Soup with Real Chicken Broth box. I do use Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup with Chicken Broth, too. Sorry, Campbell's. Either one works great. It's a delicious side with your favorite meat and vegetable.

Creamy Noodles and Rice

1 tablespoon butter
3 medium carrots, chopped (I use my peeler and get the pieces of carrot really thin.)
1 small onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1 pouch dry noodle soup mix (Campbell's or Lipton)
2/3 cup uncooked regular long-grain rice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I always forget to put this on it, but it tastes good anyway.)

In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots and onion and cook until tender. Add water, soup mix and rice. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in cheese (this is the part I forget to do) and it's ready to serve.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fantasy Fudge

There's one more Christmas recipe I wanted to include in my blog because I always make it for my neighbors and friends at Christmastime. It is the fantasy fudge recipe you find on the back of the marshmallow creme jar. It's my favorite chocolate fudge. I peeled off the label with the recipe so I would have it, but I'm always losing it. Now it will be on my blog and I can always find it. Isn't that smart?

Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup)
1 1/2 package (12 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over the sides of pan; set aside.

Place sugar, butter and evaporated milk in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 4 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. (I do use a candy thermometer for this.) Remove from heat.

Add chocolate and marshmallow creme, stir until completely melted. Add vanilla (and nuts if you choose) and mix well.

Pour immediately into prepared pan and spread to form an even layer. Let stand at room temperature for about 4 hours or until completely cooled. Cut into 1 inch squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lynn's Christmas Coffee Cake

My friend, Lynn (the one who gave me that adorable snowman ornament), shared with me her special Christmas Coffee Cake that she makes for her family every Christmas. She told me it was delicious and that her family always looked forward to her making it. So I thought I'd try it. Since I don't work with yeast very much, Lynn gave me very simple directions that were easy to follow so I wouldn't kill the yeast. So, I'm going to give you those same directions (word for word) that she gave me, because the coffee cake turned out delicious! I took the first bite and thought, "Umm, this is good." Then took the 2nd bite and before I knew it, I had already eaten 3 pieces--IT WAS THAT GOOD! As a matter of fact, I can't wait to make it again. I even asked my son-in-law, Jason, who teaches early morning seminary to the youth at church, if he'd like me to make one for his class. Let's see--he has 14 kids--I can cut the cake into 24 pieces and if I give him 15 pieces so he can have one too, then there will be 9 pieces for me! Yep, that will work! Enjoy!

Lynn's Christmas Coffee Cake
1. Heat 1 cup of milk and pour it over 1/2 cup shortening in a large mixing bowl. The shortening will melt some but it doesn't have to melt completely.
2. In another bowl, mix together 4 1/2 cups white all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup sugar.
3. Add flour mixture to milk and shortening. DO NOT STIR YET!
4. Beat 2 eggs and pour them into the bowl with the flour/milk mixture. DO NOT STIR YET!
5. In a small bowl, mix together one package of dry yeast, 1/2 cup lukewarm water (100 - 110 degrees F--I use a candy thermometer--and I did too) and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar and yeast.
6. Add yeast mixture to the bowl.
7. Mix all ingredients together. I uses my Kitchen Aid mixer (wish I had one!) with the bread hook, but before i had that, I just used a wooden spoon. I used the wooden spoon and it worked great! But I'd still like a mixer--hint, hint--in case anyone in the family is reading this :-)
8. Spread dough into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Spread softened butter on it. And that's what I did, I spread butter in pan. But I found out that I needed to spread the butter on top of the dough and I could use the cooking spray for the pan..
9. Cover with a clean dry dishtowel and let rise in a warm place. This will take a while--an hour or more. It took more than an hour and it didn't seem to want to rise for me. Sometimes I put a bowl or a pan of very hot water on the lowest rack in the oven and put the 9 x 13 pan on a rack above that. With the door closed, the hot water makes the oven warm enough for the dough to rise in a relatively shorter time. I actually put my oven on warm for about 5 minutes, turned it off and waited about 5 minutes and put the pan in the oven and it did rise some.
10. When the dough has risen (I let it rise until it is almost to the top of the 9 x 13 pan--mine didn't rise that much), sprinkle the top with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. I never measure this! I just sprinkle with sugar and then sprinkle the cinnamon on top of that. I did measure because I wanted to make sure I put enough on top.
11. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes. I test with a toothpick in the middle. When it comes out clean, I take it out. Sometimes it only takes 15 minutes, sometimes longer. Maybe it depends on the humidity or whatever. Mine was done in 15 minutes.
You can tell by my comments that I wasn't sure if it would turn out right--especially because it didn't rise like I thought it should and I didn't spread the butter on the dough. But I must have done something right because it was so good. Thanks, Lynn, for sharing this recipe with me. It may just become a tradition in our home not just at Christmas but anytime the whole family gets together!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dream Cake

Another recipe I found while in Connecticut and looking through my daughter-in-law Mandy's cookbooks was this recipe for Dream Cake. It sounded interesting since you didn't add eggs or oil. I didn't believe it would turn out to be cake except in your dreams (maybe that's why they call it Dream Cake). So I tried it and it really made a cake. I thought it tasted great, but was a little dry Next time I make it, I won't bake it so long. Now my daughter, Charen, loved it and thought it was delicious and not dry at all. Try it and see what you think.

Dream Cake

1 box Duncan Hines chocolate fudge cake ( I could only find the dark chocolate fudge cake)
1 small package chocolate pudding--NOT INSTANT!
chocolate chips
walnuts or pecans, chopped

Cook pudding per directions. Pour cake mix into cooked pudding.
Pour mixture into ungreased 8 1/2 x 11 inch pan. (My cake stuck, so I would grease the pan).
Top with chocolate chips and nuts ( I used pecans.). Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creamy Baked Chicken

While I was visiting my son Jonathan and his family in Connecticut, I found this easy, delicious recipe for baked chicken. My family loves chicken so I decided to try it. Everyone loved it. As a matter of fact the leftovers were gone by lunch the next day. We couldn't wait to have some more.

Creamy Baked Chicken

4 - 6 chicken breasts
Swiss cheese slices
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups prepared stuffing mix (I used a box of Stove Top for chicken)
1/3 cup butter melted (you can use less)

Place chicken in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Place a piece of Swiss cheese on each chicken breast. Add 1/4 cup water to the cream of chicken soup. Mix and pour over chicken and cheese. Scoop stuffing onto each chicken and add remaining stuffing around sides. Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake, uncovered at 350 for 50 - 55 minutes. Cover with foil after done to prevent getting dried out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sugar and Spice Cookies (Molasses/Ginger Christmas Cookies)

I had wanted to post this recipe before Christmas because it is a great cookie to make for your neighbors or that cookie swap you were invited to. I got the recipe from my daughter-in-law Mandy who got it from my daughter-in-law Brandi. Well anyway, it's a molasses/ginger Christmas cookie that everyone will rave about.

Sugar and Spice Cookies
(Molasses/Ginger Christmas Cookies)

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375. Cream the first four ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients together and add to mixture and stir. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.

You can also make smaller ones (about 1/2 inch balls) and bake for 8 - 9 minutes.

**If dough is sticky and hard to roll into a ball, add a little more flour.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of you who visit my blog. I enjoy sharing my recipes and hope you are enjoying them too. This Christmas I got several gifts in honor of my blog--ornaments, cookbooks, a salad spinner, plates, graters--here are a few pictures I wanted to share.
This is an ornament my friend Lynn gave me. It is so precious--I just love it!

This plate was made for me by my friend Tara to serve my goodies on. Isn't it beautiful?

My daughter-in-law Tricia made this recipe holder. Cute, huh?

Thank you everyone for your support and love.
Happy Cooking!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm back! Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. Sorry about leaving you hanging with my Heath Bar Cake recipe. I don't know where the time went. But I have been cooking and have some great recipes to share. I decided to share the pork tenderloin first because it is absolutely delicious. I've already made it three times! I hope you like it as much as I do.

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

2-3 pound pork tenderloin
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can French onion soup

Place pork in crock pot. In a bowl, combine the soups and stir until smooth. Pour over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours until the meat is tender.

Serve with mashed potatoes and smother with the gravy. It is sooooooo good!
By the way, the third time I made this I sliced the meat when it was done and put it back in the crock pot. It was really good because the gravy was meaty. Mmmmmm! I'm hungry for it again!

I want to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy New Year!