10.26.2011

Peanut Butter Jack-o-Lanterns

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So, I bought this house.  It sounded like a good idea at one time.  I'm pretty sure it's brought out the worst in me.  When it comes to this house, I cannot make a decision to save my life.  I've frustrated everyone around me.  Plus me. 

Anyway, when I get frustrated I like to eat delicious food (I also like to eat delicious food when I'm not frustrated -- in case you were wondering).  I've made these peanut butter balls before and they were delicious.  They are very rich and satisfying.  If you like Peanut Butter Pie, I guarantee you'll love this recipe! 

So, I decided to make this recipe again to ease my woes.  Or distract me from having to make decisions.  Whatever.  Since it's almost Halloween, I decided to add a little Halloween twist.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to make much Halloween food this year.  I've got a few days left, though, so maybe I'll squeeze in the time to make something else.  Even if I don't, I'm pretty satisfied with this cute little number.  These are ridiculously simple to make and are quite the crowd pleaser. 

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Here's what I used:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar

Red Food Coloring
Yellow Food Coloring
Black Tube Decorator's Icing
Yellow Tube Decorator's Icing
Teddy Grahams

Here's what I did:
1.  Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended.

2.  Divide mixture into 3 even portions. 


3.  Spoon each portion onto a piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape.

3.  Refrigerate the balls overnight.


4.  Put sugar in a bowl.  Add  yellow and red food coloring, adding one drop of each color at a time.  Stir well until color is well blended into sugar.  Repeat until sugar attains the color of orange desired.

5.  Remove the balls from the refrigerator and unwrap. 

6.  Smash each ball down so that it is smashed into a circle (rather than being the shape of a ball).

7.  Place each circle in the bowl of sugar, one at a time, spooning sugar onto the circle until it is fully covered with orange sugar.

8.  Decorate each circle with the Jack-o-Lantern face desired.  I used the black icing to outline the eyes, nose, and mouth of each Jack-o-Lantern and then used the yellow to fill in each outline so it looked like a candle shining through. 

9.  Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.  I served mine with both chocolate and graham cracker Teddy Grahams.

Happy Halloween!! 

Enjoy!

10.20.2011

Oreo Pie

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I know it's Fall now and this is kind of a Summer recipe, but I've spent every. waking. moment. fixing up the house I bought so that I can move in already.  This project is a lot more time consuming than I expected.  So, I just haven't been able to cook nearly as much as I'd like (almost not at all **gasp**).  This will all be worth it in the end.  There is a brand new oven/stove just waiting for me to get the house done so I can get in there and use it!  This is a delicious pie that is super simple to make and I haven't shared it yet.  So here it is.

Here's what I used:
1 Oreo Pie Crust
8 Ounces of Cream Cheese, softened
8 Ounces Whipped Topping (Cool Whip), thawed
2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Package of Oreo Cookies

Here's what I did:
1.  Crushed 10 Oreo Cookies.  I placed mine in a plastic baggie and beat them with a meat tenderizer.

2.  Combined the Cream Cheese and the Whipped Topping.

3.  Mixed in the vanilla.

4.  Stirred the cookie pieces into the cream cheese/whipped topping mixture.  Be careful to stir only long enough to evenly distribute the cookies.

5.  Poured the mixture into the pie crust.

6.  Refrigerated for a couple of hours to let it set up.

I garnished the pieces with a whole Oreo Cookie when serving.  I've tried this with Double Stuff Oreos and it comes out just as good -- just a little more rich.

Enjoy!

10.13.2011

Super Moist Chooclate Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Peppermint Frosting

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(Yes, I lack enough self control to take a picture before trying my latest creation.  Sue me.) 



I'm sure to some people the title of this post makes it seem difficult.  It really isn't that hard.  Read on and give it a shot. . .


As I said before, I recently took a cake decorating class with my friend Kat.  The class was fun, but I've concluded that I'm more suited for making the cakes than decorating them.  Kat, on the other hand, can decorate a cake like it's nobody's business. 
Anyhow, this cake turned out really delicious.  The cake itself was very moist and stayed that way for the entire time it existed.  I make a delicious crock pot cake, which, among other delicious things, is incredibly moist (I'm sure that recipe will be posted here at some point in the future).  When making this cake, I tried to model it after the crock pot cake and it worked!  I made a simple cream cheese filling which was a great contrast to the peppermint icing that I made and decorated the cake with.

 Here's what I used for the cake:
1 Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
Eggs, Oil and water called for on the cake mix box
12 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 
8 Ounces of Sour Cream


Here's what I did to make the cake:
1.  Made the cake mix according to the box directions.


2.  Added the sour cream to the cake mix. 


3.  Stirred the chocolate chips into the cake mix.


4.  Baked according to directions on the box of the cake mix.


5.  Set the cake on a cooling rack.  After it had cooled for about 10 minutes, I removed it from the pan and returned it to the cooling rack to finish cooling.




Here's what I used to make the filling:
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla


Here's what I did to make the filling:
1.  Mixed the cream cheese and vanilla together.


2.  Mixed the powdered sugar into the cream cheese, 1/4 of a cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition of sugar.




Here's what I used to make the icing:
1 Cup Solid Vegetable Shortening (Crisco)
1 Tsp CLEAR Peppermint Flavoring
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
7-8 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Meringue Powder
Dash of Salt



Here's what I did to make the icing:
1.  Mixed together the vegetable shortening, meringue powder, and powdered sugar.

2.  Mixed the peppermint flavoring into the icing mixture.

3.  Added water and mixed into the icing.  Tailor the number of tablespoons of water you use to the consistency of icing that you are looking for.

4.  Add a dash of salt and fully mix into the icing.



The icing has a great texture -- very light and fluffy.  The salt in the icing helps tone it down a bit so it's not excessively sweet.



Here's what I did to assemble the cake:1.  Cut fully cooled cake in half.  Removed the top half and placed to the side. 
Check out this post for tips on cutting the cake in half.    

2.  Spread the cream cheese filling on top of the bottom layer of the cake.

3.  Replaced the top layer of the cake on top of the chocolate mousse.

4.  Iced the cake.

I stored my cake in the refrigerator to help preserve it for as long as possible.  I personally prefer this cake served cold, straight from the fridge.  But, it tasted great at room temperature as well.  

Enjoy!






10.12.2011

A Call for Cookies!

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Hey everyone!  I'm planning on doing a 12 days of Christmas blog post special featuring delicious cookies.  I know, I know, it's not even Halloween yet.  But, I want to get this going early so that I can make12 different types of cookies (that's a lot of cookies -- even for me) and get the posts up early enough for y'all to make them in time for holiday parties and cookie trays.  So if you've got ideas for cookies you want me to try, recipes you love and want me to share, or some delicious idea you've dreamed up and you want me to figure out, send 'em my way!  You can e-mail me under the "Contact" tab above or just leave a comment under this post.  I'm looking forward to some delicious cookie ideas . . .

10.07.2011

Sirloin Skillet

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I'm always looking for a quick, easy dinner recipe.  This is an old recipe that I had printed out at one time (apparently) and came across in all this moving mayhem.  It still looked good, so I decided to give it a shot.  It was simple and quick and tasted delicious.  I served it over white rice.  I think it would be delicious on a tortilla too.

Slightly adapted from: Campbell's Kitchen

Here's what I used:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Lb Boneless Beef Sirloin Steak, diced
1 Large White Onion, diced
2 Medium Red Peppers, sliced
2 Medium Green Peppers, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Can (10.75 ounces) Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

Here's What I did:
1.  Heat one tablespoon of Olive Oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

2.  Cook the steak in the oil until thoroughly cooked.  Removed meat from skillet.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining (1 Tbsp) oil to the pan.

4.  Add onions and peppers to pan.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.  Add garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender.

6.  Stir in condensed soup and water.  Heat to boil.

7.  Return meat to the skillet and reduce heat to low. 

8.  Cover and cook for about 2 minutes.

9.  Sprinkle with cheese.





Enjoy!

10.01.2011

French Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Vanilla Icing

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I've been taking a cake decorating class with my friend Kat.  I've learned some pretty important lessons in class.  The most important of which is that I should stick to cooking and let someone else worry about the pretty.  But, in the process of preparing for this class, I've made a couple of delicious cakes.  This is one of them.  I started with a boxed mix, but jazzed it up by filling it with a chocolate mousse.

Here's what I used for the cake:
1 French Vanilla Cake Mix and all ingredients called for on the package

Here's what I did for the cake:
Make the cake according to directions, baking it in a greased and floured pan.  Remove cake from oven and cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.  Run a knife between the edge of the cake and pan.  Invert the cake pan onto another cooling rack to remove the cake from the pan.  Let cool completely.

Chocolate Mousse recipe slightly adapted from:  Hersey's Chocolate Mousse Filling

Here's what I used for the filling:
1 Tsp Unflavored Gelatin
1 Tbsp Cold Water
2 Tbsp Boiling Water
1 Cup cold Whipping Cream
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp Hershey's Cocoa
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Dash of Sugar

Here's what I did for the filling:
1.  Sprinkled gelatin over cold water in small coffee mug.  Let stand several minutes.

2.  Added boiling water to coffee mug.  Stir until dissolved and mixture is clear.

3.  Set coffee mug to the side to side to allow to cool.

4.  Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla until thickened.

5.  Added the contents of the coffee mug to the chocolate mixture and beat until stiff.

6.  Added a dash of sugar and stirred.

Icing Recipe slightly adapted from:Wilton's

Here's what I used for the icing:
1 Cup Solid Vegetable Shortening (Crisco)
1 Tsp CLEAR Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
7-8 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Meringue Powder
Dash of Salt

Here's what I did to make the icing:
1.  Mixed together the vegetable shortening, meringue powder, and powdered sugar.

2.  Mix the vanilla extract into the icing mixture.

3.  Add water and mix into the icing.  Tailor the number of tablespoons of water you use to the consistency of icing that you are looking for.

4.  Add a dash of salt and fully mix into the icing.

Here's what I did to assemble the cake:
1.  Cut fully cooled cake in half.  Removed the top half and placed to the side.

     Hint:  If you plan on filling multiple cakes, you should seriously considering purchasing
      one of these tools.  They make cutting your cake in half ("torting") simple, easy.

2.  Spread the chocolate mousse filling on top of the bottom layer of the cake.

3.  Replaced the top layer of the cake on top of the chocolate mousse.

4.  Iced the cake.

The cake and icing in this cake are very sweet.  The salt in the icing helps tone down the icing so it is a little less sweet.  The icing is also very light and fluffy.  The chocolate mousse, which is a bit bitter, brings the whole cake together, toning down the sweetness of the cake.

Enjoy!