21 February 2011

Mrs. D's Chili

I made a big batch of Doug's mom's famous chili for the Super Bowl. We threw together a last minute get together and I figured that it wouldn't be a proper football game without some chili! I ran across this recipe in their family cookbook and knew I could whip it together pretty fast. It originally called for beef... but I just swapped in ground turkey instead. It turned out great! I posted a recipe for Turkey Chili a while back. Both are good recipes, so just take your pick on which seasonings you prefer! I will say that this recipe tastes more like traditional chili though. Enjoy!

Mrs. D's Chili
(Adapted from Doug's mom)
Yield: 8 Servings

1 Onion
2 lb. Ground Turkey (or beef)
1/3 C. Ketchup
3/4 C. Water
1 C. Celery
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Dry Mustard
2 (15 oz) Cans Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 (28 oz) Can Tomato Sauce
Sliced Green Onions, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Fritos (for garnish)

Saute onion and ground beef. Once brown, add the ketchup, water, celery, lemon juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire, salt, vinegar, and dry mustard. Simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the kidney beans, chili powder, and tomato sauce. Cook over low heat until ready to serve. Add more water to get desired thickness. Garnish, as desired.

16 February 2011

Sparkling Cosmopolitans

We just celebrated my friend's birthday this past weekend. Amy was a good girl and only had two of these sparkling cosmopolitans! I, on the other hand, had about three or four! Ehhh, what are Saturday game nights for anyway?! We had a great time with our friends and it is always so fun to bring a new beverage over to the host's house. You can only handle so much beer and wine. Sometimes it is nice to indulge in some super girly drinks! Right gals??

Sparkling Cosmopolitans
Yield: 16 Servings

3 C. Fresh Cranberry Juice
1 C. Vodka
1 C. Triple Sec
1/3 C. Fresh Lime Juice
2 Bottles Champagne
2 Limes, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill until ready to serve. Pour about 1/3 C. Cranberry mixture into each champagne flute. Fill each glass with champagne or sparkling wine (I have also made this with sparkling water and it is just as good)! Garnish with lime slices, if desired.

14 February 2011

Peanut Butter M&M Blondies

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you! Doug will be making me a gourmet dinner tonight - which I think is the best gift ever :) I feel spoiled when he goes through the effort to plan Valentine's dinner. Remember last year? Cutie patootie! I spent last night watching Desperate Housewives and the Grammy's... ooh and I whipped up these peanut butter M&M blondies. I'll be spreading the love at work tomorrow with these sweets and I'm confident in saying that my coworkers will enjoy them!

These taste great, even if the M&M's cracked while baking! Have a great day.

Peanut Butter M&M Blondies
(Adapted from Taylor)
Yield: 20 bars

3/4 Stick Unsalted Butter
2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/ tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Medium bag of Peanut Butter M&M's

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat; stir until smooth. When smooth, remove from heat and add peanut butter. While that cools, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and peanut butter mixture with the eggs. Next, add the vanilla. Mix on low speed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined. It will be a thick batter. Pour into a prepared dish and top with M&M's, slightly pressing them into the batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow the dessert to cool completely before cutting into the bars.

12 February 2011

Bananas Foster Cake

I made this cake for Grandma D's 80th birthday! It was a huge hit with everyone... especially the brown sugar rum glaze. Holy cow! Grandpa D, who hasn't been eating too much lately, ate his whole piece of cake! I guess he really likes bananas :) Basically, this is like a banana bread cake with fresh banana slices through the layers, drizzled with rum, and then it has a nice layer of cream cheese frosting. Heaven. On. Earth.

I made it in two 10-inch cake pans, but the original recipe says you can make it in three 8-inch pans. Your call. It is delicious, so please make this soon! The only thing is that it probably won't keep for longer than one day... otherwise you'll have brown bananas between the layers.

Bananas Foster Cake
Yield: 12 Servings

1 C. Butter, softened
1 C. Granulated Sugar
1 C. Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
5 Large Eggs
3 C. All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 C. Milk
3 Ripe Bananas, mashed with a fork
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Cooking Spray (for baking)
2 Firm Ripe Bananas, sliced

Brown Sugar Rum Glaze
6 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Dark Rum
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz) Package Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C. Butter, softened
1 (16 oz) Package Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. Milk
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Garnishes: Cinnamon Sticks, Pralines, and/or Pecan Pie Glazed Pecans

Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs (one at a time), beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. Pour batter into either 3 (8-inch) or 2 (10-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray for baking. Bake at 350F degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Run a sharp knife around edges of pan. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely (about one hour).

Prepare Glaze: Bring brown sugar, corn syrup, and 3 Tbsp. Water to a boil in a small saucepan stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until sugar dissolves. Stir in butter, rum, and cinnamon. Remove from heat.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth; stir in milk and vanilla.

Assemble: Pierce cake layers with a wooden pick; drizzle with Brown Sugar Rum Glaze. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. Spread 1/4 C. Cream Cheese Frosting on one cake layer; arrange thin banana slices over frosting. Repeat procedure if you are doing a three-layer cake. Top with final layer of cake. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish, if desired.

06 February 2011

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

As you can tell, I have a major soup craving going on. Just to forewarn you, I have two more soup recipes in the pipeline. Bear with me... soup season is almost over. I love winter for many reasons, but soup just happens to be one of the top reasons why I love it so much. I make soup on Sundays and freeze some for later or have some in plastic containers to bring to work or warm up for easy dinners. Easy! This soup in particular was delicious. I urge you to give it a try!

Brazilian Shrimp Soup
(Recipe from Annie's Eats)
Yield: 6 Servings

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 C. Long-Grain Rice
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 3/4 tsp. Salt
1 3/4 C. Canned Crushed Tomatoes
5 C. Water
1 C. Canned Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 1/2 lbs. Medium Shrimp, peeled
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 C. Cilantro, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook until tender (about 7 minutes). Add the rice, red pepper flakes, salt, crushed tomatoes and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Stir in the coconut milk. Return the mixture to a simmer, then stir in the shrimp. Simmer just until the shrimp is cooked through (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in the pepper, lemon juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.