Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffin Cake


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp lemon extract
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup buttermilk
1 pound fresh blueberries

Spray bundt pan liberally with baking spray that includes flour. Preheat over to 300 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together with electric mixer. Next beat in eggs, vanilla and lemon. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and stir gently with fork. Lots of people skip this step, but its important to make sure your dry powders are mixed well because they could spread unevenly in your cake if you toss them in mixer one at a time. Now you will alternate adding in the flour mixture and buttermilk. When all combined, gently fold in half the blueberries. I would remove the paddle attachment from mixer and do by hand as to not crush berries. Put mixture in bundt pan. Then add rest of blueberries to the top (so they will bake out and be a delicious bottom for your cake once baked). Bake for 65-75 minutes. Use toothpicks a lot to test that it is really done. Should be golden brown and not jiggly at all. Then let cake cool COMPLETELY before trying to flip it over...this could take up to two hours.

I didn't make the glaze or crumble that was included in the original recipe. I would probably make the glaze next time to cover up the little imperfections left from getting the cake out of the pan.

Peanut Butter Pie


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup powdered sugar 

1 cup creamy peanut butter
 or almond butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Graham cracker pie crust or Chocolate graham cracker pie crust

Melted peanut butter (optional)

Melted chocolate

Mini Reese’s cups
Peanut butter chips

Mix all filling ingredients together and put in pie crust. Freeze for 3 hours. 

Melt chocolate (and peanut butter if desired) and put into decorating pens or canisters and use to make lines back and forth. Sprinkle edges with chocolate chips (and Reese's cups and peanut butter if desired). Now clearly that's not what you see above. I had a minor accident with my decorating apparatus as it exploded on the center of the pie while still very hot. So, I had to make the best of it and spread it like cupcake icing. While I wanted to cry because I would have no pretty pie...the extra chocolate surely was tasty :)  

Here's the original recipe if you want to see what to aim for :)

Crockpot Browned Hamburger Meat

Y'all. Life. Changing. I had no idea you could brown hamburger meat in a crockpot. The even better part is that often you can use the crockpot after you've strained the meat to finish whatever your meal may be. 

From frozen my one pound block of hamburger meat browned in 1 hour on high and another 1/2 hour on low. The first time I tried it I needed 2 lbs and it took 2 hours on high (hence the first picture). Word to the wise...leave it alone for the most part. The first time I made it I I was so fascinated by the discovery that I kept poking at it and using my spatula to grind the pieces I scraped off the frozen chuck. The meat became too ground up leaving a weird texture for the chili I was making. This time I just scraped off the frozen chunk occassionally and didn't try to grind/chop up with my spatula until it was all cooked and it was perfect.

After straining, put it back in if needed and keep on cooking!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cashew Chicken

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup lightly salted cashews
1 cup broccoli pieces, optional


In a mixing bowl, toss chicken with 1 Tbsp cornstarch to evenly coat. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add half of the chicken, and cook stirring frequiently, until chicken is is golden brown and has cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate (leaving the remaining oil in skillet - it should be about 1 tsp) and add another 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil to skillet. Cook remaining chicken until golden brown and cooked through, then transfer to plate with first batch of chicken.

In a mixing bowl (or liquid measuring cup used to measure chicken broth), whisk together chicken broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and remaining 1 Tbsp cornstarch until well blended. Heat remaining 1/2 tbsp sesame oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cashews and saute until cashews are golden brown, about 1 minute. Pour in hoisin sauce mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, add chicken and broccoli to sauce and toss to evenly coat. Serve warm with white or brown rice or quinoa.

Raspberry Cheese Dip

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mayonnaise (or 1/2 mayo 1/2 greek yogurt)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 jar raspberry preserves (or pepper jelly of choice)
Crackers of choice (I
use water crackers or multigrain)

Mix cheese, mayo (or mayo mixture), pecans and onions. Spread in an at least 8x8 dish (larger depending on desired depth). Spread preserves/jelly over in a thin layer (unless you like it really sweet - I like to taste the contrast a little more). Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.