Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ruth's Chris Copycat Sweet Potato Casserole

Ruth's Chris Copycat Sweet Potato Casserole

6 yams
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
6 tbsp cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Thoroughly wash and scrub yams. Dry with paper towels. Place on foil lined cookie sheet and poke each potato with a fork several times. Bake at 450 for 60-70 minutes. 

Take potatoes out of oven and let cool enough to peel. Scrape out insides with a spoon, discarding the skin. Place in stand mixer and mix in egg, salt, butter, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until combined. Do not over-mix! Pour potato mixture into a greased casserole dish. 

Cut up your butter into pieces a small as possible. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and butter by hand, until topping is an even sized crumb mixture. Then stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Pour topping evenly over potato mixture in casserole dish.

Bake Casserole at 350 for 35-45 minutes, or until slightly bubbling and heated throughout. If your topping starts to brown too much, cover with foil.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Perfect Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie

It's time for a confession. I don't like pumpkin. People get REALLY upset when you tell them you don't like pumpkin. Almost as upset as they get when you tell them you don't like In N Out. But that's another story.

I may not like pumpkin, but I can make a mean pumpkin pie!

Perfect Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie

8 oz cream cheese, softened
15 oz canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 frozen pie crusts
Whipped cream, for topping
4 pounds dried beans or pie weights (for making crust) 

Preheat oven to 350. Place your pie crusts into 9 inch pie pans and press down along the sides and bottom. Pinch the edges of the crust in a pattern. Fit a piece of foil to the crust, and fill each pie crust with about 2 lbs of dried beans or pie weights. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, until crust starts to dry and begins to color.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin and mix until combined. Add sugar and salt, beat until combined. Add eggs, half and half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat until incorporated. 

Pour filling into crusts and bake 50-65 minutes or until center of pie is set. Let cool at room temperature. Serve with whipped cream!

Makes 2 pies!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake

This year, I decided to combine my fiance's two favorite things for his birthday cake! Cheesecake and Peanut butter! How can you go wrong with that combination??

This cake was such a hit and he LOVED it. This cake was super rich and VERY sweet. I will definitely be making him this again for his birthday next year! 

 Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake

4 cups crushed Oreo cookies
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts (unsalted)
1 stick butter, melted

2 lbs cream cheese, softened
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups tightly packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, broken into small pieces

Reese's Peanut butter cups for decoration

**Make at least 5 hours before serving, as Cheesecake needs to chill before serving**

Combine Oreo cookies and peanuts together in food processor until crushed. Then pour into another bowl and mix in butter by hand to incorporate.  Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10 inch spring form pan.

Beat softened cream cheese in mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and cream  until smooth. Do not over mix cheesecake batter, as it could result in cracks! Gently fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula. 

Pour filling into prepared Oreo crust. Place cheesecake in oven with a casserole dish full of BOILING water. This will help steam the cheesecake. Place cheesecake on upper rack, and casserole full of water just below it on the bottom shelf. 

Bake at 275 for 90 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned.  Decorate with Reese's peanut butter cups and even a peanut butter or chocolate drizzle on top!  Let sit at room temperature to slowly cool for 1-2 hours. Then, refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving so the cake can set properly. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Spritz Cookies

Christmas Spritz Cookies

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400. Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until well blended. Stir in flour, egg, almond extract and vanilla extract. 

Place dough in cookie press. Press out cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate cookies with sprinkles!

Bake 6 minutes or until set, but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cool. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cheesy Potato Casserole with French's Fried Onions

Cheesy Potato Casserole with French's Fried Onions

28 oz potatoes O'Brien
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
8 oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup french's fried onions

Mix melted butter, sour cream, and mushroom soup together until combined. Stir in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese. Mix in potatoes and pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with french's fried onions. Bake 50-60 minutes at 250 or until hot throughout. Cover with foil if the topping starts to brown too much!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chuys Copycat Salsa Fresca Recipe

Chuys Copycat Salsa Fresca Recipe

1 jalapeno 
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons yellow onion
2 tomatoes
1 tsp white vinegar
pinch of salt

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until desired consistency! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pecan pie bars

Shorbread Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup salted butter

Pecan Filling:
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup honey
3/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a a 9 x 13 pan and a 9 x 9 pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, and brown sugar. Cut in 1 cup of butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared pans, and press in firmly. Pour about 2/3 crust into the large pan, and 1/3 into the small. Bake crust by itself for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, prepare your pecan filling. Using a mixer, mix together the eggs, honey, brown sugar, white sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gently stir in the chopped pecans. (*Feel free to add chocolate chips as well!) Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven. 

Place your pans back in toe oven and bake for  an additional 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the filling is set. Allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips

Cupcake Ingredients: 
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling Directions:
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the sugar, egg and salt until smooth. Fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips; set aside.

Cupcake Directions:
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into sugar mixture and mix well.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full with batter. Top each with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely

Chicken marinara with quinoa pasta

Chicken marinade:
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tyme
1 tsp basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon garlic salt

Other Ingredients:
1 box quinoa pasta
1 jar marinara sauce 

Directions: Mix together marinade ingredients and place in a zip lock bag with 4 chicken breasts. Let marinade for at least 2 hours in the fridge, or overnight. 
Tip: Works even better if you tenderize the chicken breasts and poke a few holes in them before placing them in the bag with the marinade. 

Grill chicken on BBQ or cook in a skillet. Cut chicken into thin slices against the grain to get very tender slices of chicken. Cook a box of quinoa noodles according to the directions on the box and heat marinara sauce in a pot on the stove. Toss noodles in marinara sauce and serve chicken on top. Makes 4 servings.

Gluten free cinnamon apple protein pancakes

2 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 small banana, overripe
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup gluten free flour
2 tablespoons rice protein powder
1 tsp stevia
1 apple

Directions: Peel and chop apple into thin, small slices and set aside. With a whisk, beat together eggs, almond milk, and banana. Stir in cinnamon, gluten free flour, protein powder, and stevia until combined. Heat a pan over medium-low heat and saute 1/2 of the apple until soft. Pour 1/2 of pancake batter over apples and cook until the top side starts to bubble. Flip pancake and cook until the other side is fully cooked. Repeat with other 1/2 apple and other 1/2 of pancake batter. Makes 2 servings. Top with more sliced apples or banana and agave nectar. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

Muffin Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping Ingredients: 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract to batter. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

Crumb Topping: 
In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rotel Salsa

1 28 oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies- Original)
1 Small sweet onion (or 1/2 large onion)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/8 tsp salt

Throw everything in your food processor and blend. The longer you blend, the more pureed your salsa will get, so it just depends on your taste. I pulse the food processor just a few times so it results in a chunky salsa. 

Juiciest hamburgers ever

Hamburger Recipe:
2 lbs hamburger meat (80/20)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons onion, finely minced
Seasoning Recipe:
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp season salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic salt
Mix together Hamburger mixture, and add half the seasoning to the mix. (Don't over-mix or the meat will become tough) Then add the rest of the seasoning to the outside of the patties once you form them. Grill outside on a BBQ or inside in a pan! We tried both ways and they were delicious.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ghirardelli Brownie Mix Cookies

These happen to be the tastiest, easiest cookies ever, and they are made with a box of brownie mix! My favorite brownie mix to use is the Ghirardelli brownie mix with the chocolate chips already in it. We buy the 6 pack at Costco and stock up! 

1 box Ghirardelli brownie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375. 

In a mixing bowl, mix together 1 bag brownie mix, 1/3 cup oil, 1 egg, and 2 tablespoons water. Your batter will be very thick! Drop in heaping tablespoons on a greased cookie sheets and bake 9-10 minutes. (in my oven, the large cookies take 9 minutes and 30 seconds)

**Tip: (I slightly under-bake ALL my cookies)
The brownie cookies should still be a tiny bit under-cooked and slightly doughy in the middle when you take them out of the oven. After you take them out of the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet to cool for about 20 minutes before trying to move them. The cookies will continue to bake on the cookie sheet, and removing them early could result in your cookies falling apart. This will result in the chewiest, most delicious chocolate brownie cookies. 

Makes about 12 large cookies, or 16 medium sized cookies!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Buttermilk Teacakes with Vanilla Glaze - Martino's Teacake Copycat Recipe

So what exactly are teacakes you ask? Teacakes can be anything around the world from bread, to a cookie, to a spongy cake. But here in Southern California, "Teacake" stands for a delicious, moist buttermilk cupcake with a vanilla donut-like glaze on top. They are known for their famous square shape, so a square muffin tin is a MUST for this recipe! 

In my desperate search for a copycat recipe to Burbank's Martino's Bakery famous buttermilk teacakes, I came across a similar recipe from Grace's Pastries. These were soo close to Martino's recipe that I had to share! 

Grace's Buttermilk Teacakes

Yields: 24 Teacakes

Teacake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup extra fine white sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, white sugar, vegetable oil, salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Cream slowly for six minutes, continually scraping down the sides.  Add 3/4 cup of the buttermilk, cake flour and baking soda, and mix until smooth.  Then, add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk and mix until thoroughly combined. *batter will be very thin!*

Line a square muffin pan with circle paper liners.  Fill cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then place on cooling racks to finish cooling.  Let teacakes cool completely before adding vanilla glaze.

Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and cover with paper towel. Microwave until completely melted (about a minute), stopping frequently to stir.  Do not overheat the butter. In a separate bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water together to form a paste.  Add the melted butter.  Whisk until smooth.

While the vanilla glaze is still warm but the cakes are cooled, dip the tops of the teacakes into the glaze and let cool until glaze hardens. If your glaze is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from G-fork .


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