Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

My first attempt at cake pops... whew! They're a lot of work but I did end up with a few that will be good enough to give out. As for the rest of them, I think the 3 of us will be able to finish them off!

No recipe this time - see my earlier post for cake balls. After shaping the mixture into balls, I smooshed them and used a 1 1/2" heart cookie cutter to make the centers. Keeping the hearts on the sticks while dipping them proved to be tricky - I wonder if my recipe used too much frosting so it was too soft. After the coating had hardened I piped words on with frosting.

Check out for many more ideas, tips, recipes... I could spend hours on that website!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup

By request... here's my recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup. It's the first time I made this recipe, and I tweaked it a little bit, as I usually do with soups because it's a great way to empty out the fridge (don't cringe!). I'll give you the "real" recipe and then my additions, too.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans chicken broth
1 can Ranch style beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can chicken
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes

Mix soup and broth together until soup is dissolved; add remaining ingredients. Cook until warm. Serve with tortillas, tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese.

Here's what I did differently: instead of chicken broth I used frozen turkey stock that I made after Thanksgiving dinner. And instead of the canned chicken I used some chicken I had left over from another recipe I made earlier in the week - I try to avoid using canned chicken, yeech! I also added some pinto beans that were taking up space in the fridge. Then for the fun stuff -- I added 1/2 cup carrot puree to get some veggies in the mix. No one noticed (not even me!) and it really added a little more thickness to the broth.

I actually threw everything in the crock pot in the morning and turned it on low, and it was ready to go by lunch time. Super easy, and really, really yummy!

[Adam's] Apple Pie

I'm finally getting around to posting Adam's birthday dessert (the second one). Gotta love church cookbook recipes... this one is listed as Ty's Apple Pie and it was really good, even though (gasp!) I'm not a huge fan of apple pie. (Yes, I am American.)

[Adam's] Apple Pie

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
4-5 Tbsp water

1/2 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/8 cup flour
1/6 cup water
4 cups diced Jonathan apples
milk & sugar

Mix dry crust ingredients. Cut shortening in with pastry cutter until well mixed. Add water; continue to mix with pastry cutter or fork. Form into ball then roll on floured surface with rolling pin. Makes 1 double crust pie crust.

Bring butter, sugar, vanilla, flour and water to boil. Pour over diced apples; stir. Place in pie shell; cover with top crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown at 350° for 1 hour.

Ok, so I cheated and used frozen pie crusts. I just don't have the knack for rolling them out, so I just don't even try - there are other things I'd much rather master. And since this was for my hubby, I used cookie cutters to cut out hearts and overlay them on the top pie crust before brushing with milk and sprinkling with sugar. It must have been good - I only had 1 piece and somehow the rest of it disappeared within a couple days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Does Chicken Pot Pie count as baking? I'm a big fan of the dish, and my Pillsbury calendar featured it as their recipe of the month (ok, it was actually Turkey Pot Pie, but I rarely have turkey outside of Thanksgiving). It had been staring at me all month at work, so I finally caved and made it. I'm glad I did!

Classic (Turkey) Chicken Pot Pie

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
14 oz chicken broth (I used leftover turkey stock from Thanksgiving that I had frozen)
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked (turkey) chicken
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Heat oven to 425°. Place one pie crust in a 9" glass pie plate. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. Stir in (turkey) chicken and vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust. Bake 30-40 minutes until crust is golden-brown. During the last 15-20 minutes of baking, cover edge of crust with strips of foil (I used a pie crust shield the entire time). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

The only thing I would do differently next time is to try it without the bottom crust. Although Pillsbury pie crust is very good, it seemed a bit excessive (Pillsbury trying to sell more of their product???). Perfect comfort food for a winter evening.

Hillary Clinton Birthday Cake

So... I try not to get political. But this cake was kind-of like its name: not quite as good as it sounded - ha! I tore this recipe out of the newspaper a few weeks ago, and Adam decided he wanted it as (one of) his birthday treat(s). Yes, he got this AND an apple pie (recipe to come). For grins, here's the recipe of the birthday cake, anyway.

Hillary Clinton Birthday Cake

1 box (3.4 oz) cook-and-serve chocolate pudding
2 cups whole milk (I used 2%, maybe this was the kicker?)
1 chocolate cake mix
12 oz bag of milk chocolate chips (Adam requested peanut butter chips instead)
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 11x13" pan with nonstick spray. Prepare chocolate pudding mix according to package directions, using whole milk. Pour cake mix into a mixing bowl. Slowly add warm pudding, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent clumping. Batter will be sticky. Spread into the prepared cake pan (it was really hard to do this - it was super sticky!). Sprinkle chocolate chips over batter, then sprinkle on pecan halves. Bake according to package directions, about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool before cutting.

Somehow the cake disappeared at my house - it helped that we had guests that weekend, because I think I got by with only eating one piece. Ok, it wasn't that bad. But if I'm going to eat that many calories in one sitting, it better be really good.