Archive for December, 2015

Warm Blueberry-Pudding Cake

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 1 package of yellow cake mix (and everything the box says you need to make it)
  • 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons icing powder (we didn’t use)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare cake batter as per instructions on box. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.
  3. Beat the pudding mix, sugar, milk and orange juice with whisk for 2 minutes. Pour over the cake batter. Sprinkle with blueberries. Place baking dish on baking sheet (in case anything bubbles over, though nothing did with ours) and place in oven.
  4. Bake 1 hour or until cake is done. Cool 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve (we didn’t).

Blueberry Pudding Cake (2)

Verdict: This was an interesting cake. The pudding and blueberries kind of sunk to the bottom during baking so that the cake was the top layer. Still, I don’t think I was a fan of the texture of the pudding and cake together like they were after baking.

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Cheesy Homemade Tater Tots

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 4 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs
  1. Boil potatoes 10-15 minutes until tender.
  2. Using a fork, add milk and butter and mash up potatoes. Let them cool. Beat the egg, before adding it, flour, cheese and salt and pepper to the potatoes.
  3. Drop a few teaspoons of potatoes (we may have made them too big) into the panko and roll them around the crumbs to shape.
  4. (We didn’t deep fry them like the original recipe, but fried them in a pan of oil until browned.)

Cheesy Tater Tots

Verdict: I am not sure where these went wrong. Ours never kept the shape we rolled them into, instead spreading out in the pan. I know we made them too big, but I don’t know if the mashed potatoes had the right consistency to hold together. On the other hand, when we tasted them, they had a weird paste like after taste that seems to have come from too much flour. It was an odd tasting dish.

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Chocolate Muffins

I am not sure where I originally found this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour (we used all purpose flour without adding any baking powder as well, which we should have done)
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 60g semi-sweet chocolate cut into half inch pieces (we used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  1. Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt (if using) together. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter, alternating with the milk.
  3. (The recipe says to half fill 12 muffin moulds with batter, place a few chocolate pieces on top then cover with rest of batter. Instead we mixed the chocolate chips in the batter and made 6 large muffins).
  4. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes (the large ones took closer to 30 minutes).

Chocolate Muffins

Verdict: Because we did not add the baking powder, these muffins did not rise at all. Despite being kind of flat looking, they had a nice chocolate taste to them.

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Chicken Tenders Parmesan with Penne and Broccoli

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.

  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 pound of chicken cut into small strips
  • 1 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces penne or other short pasta
  • 10 ounces broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Set oven rack in top position and heat broiler.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. In another bowl, combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs (the recipe does not specify how much of the Parmesan to use. Because of this we ended up using the whole 3/4 cups, which was a little much. I would probably use 1/4 cup next time). Dip chicken in the egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and broil on high 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Preheat oven to 450F.
  5. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Place the chicken on top of the sauce, cover with remaining sauce and the mozzarella. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water, adding broccoli in the final couple of minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water (we didn’t end up using it). Drain pasta and broccoli and return to pot.
  7. Add oil and remaining Parmesan (since the recipe didn’t specify how much we were supposed to reserve we added another 1/3 cup here. In the future I would put 1/2 cup).  Toss, adding pasta water so that pasta gets coated completely (we didn’t need to).
  8. Serve with the chicken and sauce.

CHicken tenders 1Chicken tenders 2

Broccoli chicken tender pasta

Verdict: There was a little too much Parmesan in this dish, because of the missing measurements in the original recipe, so the dish was a little salty.

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Cashew Caramel Cookies

I got this recipe from a Martha Stewart cookbook.

  • 2 1/2 cups cashews
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 24 caramel candy cubes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Coarsely chop 1 cup of cashews and set aside.
  3. Process remaining 1 1/2 cup of cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour in oil and process until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. In a big bowl, mix together the cashew mixture, butter, brown sugar and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Gradually mix in flour and salt (if using) and the nuts that were set aside.
  5. Place on baking sheet and bake 6 minutes. Gently flatten and bake another 6. (We didn’t do this, we just baked for 12 minutes). Let cool.
  6. Melt the caramel candy cubes with the heavy cream in a saucepan. Let cool. Using a spoon, drizzle over cookies.

Cashew Cookies

Verdict: We made a little over 3 dozen cookies. These cookies were a little crispy on the outside and a little gooey on the inside, which was an interesting combination. I’m not sure they were my favourite cookies, but they were good.

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Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a recipe I found online.

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup pre-sliced mushrooms (we didn’t use)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 14 ounces chicken broth
  • 4 ounces vermicelli or spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces (we used spaghetti)
  • 2 cups shredded processed light cheese (the recipe suggested Velveeta, but we went a different way and used cheddar)
  • 4 cups cubed 1 inch cooked pieces of chicken
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup half and half (10% cream)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, mushrooms (if using) and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes or until the water evaporates (I guess this is mainly important when mushrooms are added), stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, stirring until it melts. Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low, cook 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add pasta and cook 10 minutes (our spaghetti wasn’t cooking at medium low, so we raised the heat closer to the high end).
  4. Add cheese to pan and stir until melted. Add chicken, broccoli and salt and pepper. Cook until broccoli is tender.

Broccoli Chicken Noodle Soup

Verdict: I was a little nervous about this soup, because it seemed different from the ones I had done before. I think most of the soup recipes I have made are broth based, but the amount of milk in this one was definitely something different. Plus, we were always planning on a different cheese, so we could have gotten anything. But in the end we ended up with a deliciously creamy soup, which I would rank as one of the best tasting soups I have made/eaten!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I found this recipe online, but I am not sure where.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mashed bananas.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt (if using) and add to the wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips.
  3. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes (this is for 12 regular sized muffins. We made 6 large muffins, so ours needed closer to 35 minutes baking time).

Banana Muffins

Verdict: This were delicious. The tops of the muffins were crispy while the centres were soft. The banana taste was present without being overpowering.

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