Friday, May 8, 2015

Kentucky Butter Cake

This scrumptious cake is so easy to make. I just love how you just throw everything into the mixer and mix well, then bake. There is a hot glaze that you pour over the hot cake and it reminds me of a glazed donut, only so much better. Simply tasty!

You can serve this cake naked, or with strawberries in a glaze or with ice cream. Heck throw it all on there and add some whipped cream too if you wish. Either way you can't go wrong and will love this simple buttery glazed cake.

It travels well and stands up on a hot Summer day for a Bar B Q or a picnic. I could not begin to count how many times that I have made this treasure. I found this recipe in the Valley Elementary cookbook that I was in charge of publishing many years ago. It was not until years later that I found out that it was a Pillsbury Bake -Off winner. I have made this for numerous cake raffles and bake sales throughout the years. As an added treat I always gave the printed recipe with it. Passing on the recipe adds a nice sweet unexpected touch.

* 3 cups all purpose flour
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1 cup buttermilk*
* 1 cup unsalted butter, softened *
* 2 tsp. vanilla or rum extract*
* 4 eggs, beaten

You will need a tube pan for this cake or you may use two 9 x 5 x 3 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease and flour pan or use Pam cooking spray. Blend all ingredients together on a low speed with your mixer until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Pour into greased pan and bake for 55 to 70 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Immediately pour hot glaze over the top and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

* 3/4 cup extra fine sugar
* 3 Tbsp water
* 1/3 cup unsalted butter*
* 1 tsp of vanilla extract or rum extract*

In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and water.  Heat until butter melts. You want to make sure that the sugar crystals are melted so that it will not feel gritty on your teeth when you eat it. This is where the extra fine sugar comes in handy because it melts so easily. Whisk it occasionally until sugar is melted. Pour immediately over hot cake fresh out of the oven. After cake has cooled for 30 minutes I like to invert it onto a plate from the pan and then invert it again onto my cake plate. That way it looks so much prettier seeing the top of the cake instead of the bottom.

* Please only use butter for this recipe if you want the best flavor and results.
* I have only used vanilla extract on my cake but that is only because I do not like rum flavor. Please by all means use rum extract if you like that flavor. You can't go wrong.
* You may make your own buttermilk by adding 1 Tbsp of white vinegar, stir well and wait 5 - 10 minutes at room temp.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Weed Killer~~~~Non-Toxic

I know this is not a food post, but it is a recipe post. I had to share this with you because it works great!  Also this is a triple goodness post because it kills weeds, is non-toxic and it will save you money. I just love when that happens.

I used it on some Poison Ivy climbing up our big trees and it killed the Poison Ivy ( on new growth), in a few days and that stuff is tough to kill. Three ingredients is all that you need, just get yourself a good spray bottle and a funnel. Since there is table salt in this recipe do not spray on or near concrete. Salt ruins and especially TABLE SALT since the grains are finer. Also I would not spray on a day that is calling for rain either. I don't know about you but I worry about using Round-Up around my family and pets. Be kind to your loved ones, but show those nasty weeds who is boss.
  • 2 Qts of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 1 tsp, Dawn dish detergent
Mix above ingredients together in a large 8 cup measuring cup if you have one or a large bowl with a lip for pouring. I like to use a whisk to mix well until salt is dissolved. Using a funnel pour into the spray bottle and use immediately. Left over keeps well, just shake bottle before using if it as sat for a while to remix any separation. I have found that this works better than Round-Up and it kills on the first application.

I purchased a 64 oz. jug of Apple Cider vinegar and stored my unused portion of the mixture back into the bottle. Don't forget to label it well with a sharpie pen.

I noticed that the established Poison Ivy vines get thicker and the vine starts to look hairy looking. Those are roots that sprout out as it climbs the tree or whatever it climbs. If you find an established vine cut it off at the top as far as you can reach, then spray the whole vine down all the way to the ground. You need to not only kill the leaves but also the roots. Whatever you do never touch the vines nor the leaves bare handed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crockpot style Pulled Bar B Q Chicken

I must admit that I am busting at the seams to share this treasure with my Feasty Fans. This baby only has two ingredients, yes count them only  two. Not only that it has to be one of the easiest recipes ever to make. Also it is a low fat version of traditional Bar B Q and I promise you that will will not miss the fat. I used Stubb's spicy Bar B Q sauce and the sweetness from the Pepper Slaw with the spiciness of the sauce will have your taste buds doing  the Tango.

Feel free use your favorite brand but mine is Stubb's. The great thing about this is that you can make any amount that you want. The ratio for this recipe is 1 cup sauce to 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast.
Ta Da!!!

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup Stubb's spicy flavor Bar B Q sauce

You will need a crock pot for this recipe. Trim any fat or cartilage from the chicken breast, I like to use my kitchen scissors. Once chicken has been trimmed place into crock pot with 1 cup of the sauce.

I have 2 variations on the cook time.
#1 Cook on high for 3-4 hours
#2 Cook on low for 6-8 hours

Do not add any water! Also no peeking!!! Keep the lid closed because no nose bags are allowed to peek in. Seriously for a crock pot to be efficient you need to leave the lid on to keep in the heat and moisture. You will know the chicken is done because it will shred easily by pulling apart with two large meat forks. Once you have shredded all of the chicken stir mixture well and make sure that all meat is coated evenly with sauce.

Another helpful hint here with the hot season coming up. If you do not want the added heat in your house you may plug it in your garage or covered area outside. You don't have to worry about a dog or cat getting into it because it is too hot to touch. Your main concern is that you do not want it to get rained on. If it is cold you will want to keep it inside because once it gets cooking it smells so delicious.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spanish Rice ~~~ Quick & Easy

Quick and easy Spanish Rice. I don't think you can get any easier than this one. I have to thank my friend Tracy for sharing her recipe with us, sorry Tracy but I had to add the Sazon to it. Seriously I can't help myself. It must be some type of genetic mutation in me that I have this uncontrollable urge to mess with recipes. Three ingredients and only 20 minutes of cook time. I can see endless possibilities for this as a side dish. So if your are in a rush and want a tasty side rice dish you do not need to look any further.

  • 1 can undrained Ro Tel original diced tomatoes & green chiles, 10 oz.
  • 1 cup white long grain rice
  •  water
  •  1/2 pack of Sazon seasoning by Goya, see pic below

Open canned tomatoes and place in a 2 cup measuring cup, now add enough water to make it come to the 2 cup line. Place all ingredients in a 2 qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and cover with a lid cooking for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve.

Thank you Tracy Millhouse for this delicious, quick and easy recipe!

You can find Sazon in the ethnic isle of your grocery store.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pizza made Healthier

You can have your Pizza and eat it too!  We try to eat healthy, but we are human and still crave our old favorites like Pizza. So my Stud Muffin challenged me by asking for Pizza. Well we all know that Pizza is not normally diet food, but this way you can still enjoy an old favorite and not feel deprived. I make sure that I use Pita bread that is healthier for the Pizza dough. My brand was 0g Fat and 5g Fiber. Use a low fat cheese and sprinkle on some Parmesan just before eating, it's a low fat high calcium cheese. Watch out in your Pizza sauce because sometimes they sneak in extra fat and sugar, mine was 25 calories per 1/4 cup, 0.5 g Fat and 2g Sugar with 1g Fiber. It's important to read the nutrition labels. So we all know how everyone has their favorite toppings and mine is to pile on as many veggies as possible without any meat or just plain cheese. If you are a Pepperoni lover please try the reduced fat Turkey Pepperoni.

  • whole wheat pita bread
  • Sargento reduced fat 4 cheese grated Italian
  • 1 can Pizza sauce, I used Furmano's
  • granulated garlic powder
  • Toppings are optional; onion, black olives, pepper, mushrooms, or reduced fat turkey Pepperoni.
  • Optional garnishes: Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile chop and prepare veggies. On a large cookie sheet place up to 6 Pita's, add about 1/4 cup or less of Pizza sauce, add 1/4 cup grated cheese then sprinkle cheese with a generous amount of garlic powder, now add the optional toppings. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with optional garnishes just before eating. Enjoy!

If you are worried about the Pizza sticking just put a dusting of corn meal on the bottom of the cookie sheet before placing Pizza's on it. It creates an air pocket and they will not stick.

This is a peek of my secret ingredient list. Fast, Frugal and Healthy! What's not to love here?

You can even have a Pizza party and have everyone custom make their own.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Coconut Cake

We had a beagle mix mutt named Jethro who would go cuckoo for coconut. We accidentally found out one day when my Dad blew candles out off of his birthday cake and coconut went flying. I never saw that dog go so berserk over food before and it was a sight that I will never forget. I dedicate this post to my dear old boy that passed at 14 years of age many years ago. RIP Jethro!

Our Easter dinner would not be complete without a Coconut Cake. I just love coconut but I love toasted coconut even more. This is a big 3 layer cake that everyone will rave about. Matter of fact the original name for this recipe is Incredible Coconut Cake. I know this baby takes a little more effort than most but it is so worth it. You can always bake it 1 or 2 days in advance of your Feasty. So search no more for a perfect coconut cake recipe because it is right here.

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter

  • 2 pkg. of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (only using a total of 10 oz.)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 2 cups coconut, toasted

Place egg whites in a large bowl; let sit at room temp for 30 minjutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In another large bowl, beat sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut.

Add cream of tarter to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form.. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites.

Transfer to three greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile; while the cake is baking I like to toast my coconut in a 12 inch non stick skillet stirring constantly until golden brown, then set side in a bowl to cool.

For frosting; in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar and extract; beat until smooth.

Place one cake layer on plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup toasted coconut. Repeat. Top remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut on top and sides. Refrigerate for 2 hours for cutting or make a day or two in advance. Store in covered in refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings

This recipe is compliments of Taste of Home magazine that was submitted by Lynne Bassler and this is my version. Thank you Lynn for this incredible Coconut Cake recipe.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Breakfast Sandwich

Have you ever tried those frozen low fat higher fiber microwavable breakfast sandwiches that are in the freezer section? If you have not done so I recommend that you do not bother. My little tasty treasure will blow theirs away and make your taste buds sing with delight. Another bonus is that mine is also low fat and has fiber as well. Not only that it is quick and easy to make. I call that double goodness and we could all use some of that. My recipe calls for one sandwich but make as many as you want. So this is the best reason not to skip the most important meal of your day. Enjoy!

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Thomas Bagel Thins, Everything flavor
  • Morning Star Farms soy bacon strips, 2 strips
  • Sargento Reduced Fat Pepper Cheese slices, 1 slice
  • Olivio buttery spray
  • Cooking spray

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, then spray with cooking spray and crack a egg into the skillet. Meanwhile place bagel into toaster keeping in mind that it is thin and toasts much faster than a regular bagel, but do not toast yet.

Now after egg has cooked for about a minute start to toast the bagel. Place two strips of soy bacon on a microwavable safe plate and place into microwave. Cook egg for one more minute then flip over and gently break the yolk (so that it may cook all the way through), and add one slice of cheese on top of egg to melt.

Next start to microwave the soy bacon for about 65 seconds or until crispy. Every microwave is different so cooking time may vary. When bagel is toasted remove from toaster and spritz the buttery spray on the inside of both bagel surfaces. Remove cooked bacon from microwave and with a flat knife loosen bacon from plate as it has a tendency to try to stick to the plate.

Add egg with melted cheese onto bagel bottom, break the bacon slices in half to fit onto sandwich and place on top of the egg. Place top of bagel on sandwich and eat right away or snag this tasty baby and squeak out the door with it..