Monday, November 23, 2015

Cranberry Bundt Cake with Butter Cream Sauce

Today is my Mia's 14th birthday!

Mia loves cranberries. She has devoured pounds and pounds of cranberry sauce in her 14 years--probably way more than the average person consumes in a lifetime. I'm not even joking. She prefers homemade, but she'll eat the stuff in the can too. :)

This cake is delicious. People who don't like cranberries have told me that, so even if you don't, you should still give it a try. If you like to have something besides pie for Thanksgiving, this would be an excellent addition to your dessert table. I've had the recipe long enough that I don't remember where it originated from, but I do know that my version here is half the butter cream sauce of the original, cutting out a lot of fat and calories that it really didn't need. It's very moist and good topped with whipped cream.

Cranberry Bundt Cake with Butter Cream Sauce
serves 16

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained

Butter Cream Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup half & half

Preheat oven to 350. Combine and sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, oil, almond extract and sour cream until smooth. The sour cream will form lumps at first, but keep whisking and it will smooth out. Pour liquid ingredients into flour mixture and mix on low until all flour is completely incorporated. Fold in the cranberries.

Pour cake batter into a well-greased Bundt pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While cake is baking, prepare butter cream sauce by melting the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in sugar until combined, and then stir in the half & half. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat once it boils. When cake is done and still hot, pour 1/3 of butter cream mixture over the cake in the pan and allow it to set for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, invert cake onto a serving plate and slowly spoon the rest of the butter cream sauce over the cake so it can absorb into the cake. Cool before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

I have a delicious little muffin recipe for you today, put together by yours truly.

Mia needed some muffins for a school thing, so I whipped these up the night before. Let's call them Cinnamon Sugar Muffins.

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
 makes 10 regular size muffins

1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. nutmeg

1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Stir melted butter and sugar together until combined. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Stir in milk. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and nutmeg together. Add all at once to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into the paper-lined muffin cups, filling about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the tops of the batter. Bake in preheated oven for 15-16 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly with a finger. Remove muffins to a cooling rack.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chicken Zucchini Casserole

So this stuff. This. stuff.

You MUST try it.  

Even if zucchini growing season is over, go buy a couple. It's worth it. Cooked chicken, diced zucchini, stuffing all combines into an easy, savory casserole that I have made three or four times in the last few months, because it is so good! My whole family loves it. It would even do nicely with leftover turkey come the day after Thanksgiving--I'm definitely going to try it.

This recipe comes from Six Sisters' Stuff, but I slightly tweaked it: dry onion instead of fresh, a slightly smaller pan (I thought the 9x13 was too large), and a little bit longer cooking time at a lower temp. Seriously, give it try.

Chicken Zucchini Casserole
6 oz. package of Chicken flavor stuffing mix (I have used Kroger brand each time)
1 cube of butter
2 small zucchini, diced
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 T. dry minced onion
1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

In a large bowl, melt the butter. Pour in the entire box of dry stuffing mix, and stir til evenly mixed. Reserve 2/3 cup and set aside. To remaining buttered stuffing mix, add the zucchini, cooked chicken, soup, onion and sour cream. Stir until combined. Pour mixture into a greased 11x8 baking dish. Sprinkle reserved stuffing mix over the top. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cheesy Beef & Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Lately, I've been using the "save link" feature on Facebook. And you know what? It's a pretty handy way to save recipes you want to try, because it is a cinch to pull them up later on, anytime.

This is one of those saved recipe links, and it comes by way of Alyssa at The Recipe Critic. 

Rarely do I make a straight recipe anymore--I usually adapt it to suit my tastes. The same goes for this one. It needed some onion and garlic, and since my girlies who still live at home would notice that there is cottage cheese in it, I blended the cottage cheese and sour cream together in my handy little Ninja, with the addition of some dried parsley, little lumps of cottage cheese! They had no idea! Sometimes I feel like a genuis, I tell you.

This was a winner. Classic comfort food! Give it a try.

Cheesy Beef & Sour Cream Noodle Bake
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 t. peper
2 T. dry minced onion
1 t. garlic salt
8 oz. package No-Yolks Dumplings (egg noodles)
1 c. reduced fat sour cream
1 1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1 T. dried parsely
2 c. grated medium cheddar cheese 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef with the dry minced onion; drain. Return beef to skillet and add salt, pepper, garlic salt and tomato sauce. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the No-Yolks Dumplings or other egg noodles of your choice according to package directions; drain.

While noodles cook, run the cottage cheese, sour cream and parsley through a blender or food chopper until smooth. Pour this mixture over the hot, drained noodles and stir to coat. Spread half the hot noodles in the bottom of the 9x13 pan, followed by half the ground beef mixture. Top with half of the grated cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers, and end with cheese. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly and the cheese is browned. Serves 6-8.