Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Black Magic Cake

Found on:

Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 40 Min

1 3/4 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c strong black coffee, cooled
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp real vanilla extract

1/2 c margarine, softened
2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
3 c powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk
2 tsp real vanilla extract


1 Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
2 Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
3 Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.
4 Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
5 Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9x13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
6 Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer. Spread frosting on cooled cakes.

Tresa's Notes
Soo good!!! Enjoy!!!

Beef Lo-Mein

Found on:

4 ounces thin spaghetti (I used Barilla Plus)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
5 ounces broccoli florets
5 ounces snap peas, trimmed
8 ounces lean beef (I think I used flank steak), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce (sambal oelek)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions and drain. Set aside.

Be sure to prep all of the ingredients before you start stir frying since everything will cook quickly! In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic chili sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside.

Add the peanut oil to a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the the vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the beef and continue to stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes, until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Add the noodles and the sauce to the pan and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat. Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds.

***Tresa's Notes***

Instead of Garlic Chili Sauce, I used a teaspoon of Black Bean Sauce and a teaspoon of Garlic Red Chili Paste. The only oil I used was olive oil. I used acouple of round steaks and Lo-Mein noodles (4 0z), red bell peppers and onions. Soo good!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Milk

Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Milk:

Found on:


6 ounces of Thick Greek Vanilla Yogurt {like Chobani}
1 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Ice
1/2 a Banana
2 tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter
1 {heaping} tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, plus more for dusting
Sugar or Honey to taste {optional}


Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in a tall glass and dust with a little extra unsweetened cocoa powder. Serve.

Tresa's Notes: Yum Yum Yum!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Pecan Butter

Found On:

Dark Chocolate Pecan Butter
Quite possibly the smoothest, silkiest, and richest nut butter I have ever tasted. This is a definite show stopper with an intense chocolate taste.

Yield: 1 cup

Adapted from Dark Chocolate Almond Butter.


2 cups toasted pecans
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil (or other oil may work)
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

Directions: Toast 2 cups of raw pecans for 10 minutes at 325F. Watch closely so you do not burn them. Place the 2 cups of toasted pecans into a food processor. Process for about 5-10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or as necessary. The toasted pecans will form into a butter much faster than the almonds do.

Just before your pecan butter is ready, add the 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp of coconut oil to a small pot. Melt on low. You want to remove the pot from heat when there are still some chocolate chip clumps remaining. Don’t worry they will melt as you stir the mixture. I always take it off the heat a bit early to avoid burning the chocolate.

Add the melted chocolate to the pecan butter (still in the processor) and process for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add your kosher salt to taste and process more. Scoop into a container and store in the fridge. Makes 1 cup of Dark Chocolate Pecan Butter. Refrigerate. Note that the pecan butter firms up in the fridge. Allow it to sit at room temperature to soften before using.

Tresa's Notes- I used vanilla extract instead of coconut oil, Semi-sweet all natural chocolate chunks instead of dark chocolate and I didn't add salt. The consistency on mine came out more like Nutella. I added a bit of milk to my chocolate to keep it from burning.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Marinated Cheese-Topped Salad

Recipe by Barbara Estabrook-found in Taste of Home magazine April/May 2011 issue

Prep: 24 Min + Marinating
Yield: 6 Servins

1/2 c. Olive Oil
2 T. minced fresh Italian parsley
2 T. Lemon Juice
1 T. minced fresh oregano
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, chilled
4 cups torn romaine
2 cups fresh argula or baby spinach
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup medium pitted green olives

1. For dressing, in a small bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Cut cheese into 1/2 inch cubes; Toss with half of the dressing. Cover and refigerate for 30 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the romaine, arugula, tomatoes, shallots and olives. Drizzle with remaining dressing; toss to coat. Top with marinated cheese. Serve immediately.

Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

2 1/2 oz fresh basil

1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2-4 cloves garlic (depending on how strong of a garlic taste you like)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to your desired consistency. You can also pulse the garlic and pine nuts together before the other ingredients to break them down a little bit more.


Found On:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black
12 skinless chicken thighs
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
3. Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.

***Tresa's Notes***
I changed out the white sugar for brown sugar and added two more cloves of garlic. Simmered on stove till it came together. I marinated 5 boneless chicken breasts with this sauce for an hour then grilled them. They came out amazing! A few of the comments on the website thought it was salty, but I really didn't think so once it was on the chicken. I found it quite good. Enjoy!

Recipe Website:

Easy Homemade Ice cream (Cinnamon Bun Flavor)

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz.) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks in large bowl. Whisk sweetened condensed milk, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix well. Fold in whipped cream.
Pour into a 2-quart container and cover. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Store in freezer.

Fir More variations:
Read More

***Tresa's Notes***
This is a recipe that I had never tried before and it's really good! Mind you, it's EXTREMELY rich and obviously not that great for it tastes great and is a simple treat! Soo good! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.)
3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops of muffins before baking with a combination of 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoon brown sugar.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm.

*****Tresa's Notes******

I added 1/4 cup of sour cream for moistness-you could up the milk to 1 cup instead of the sour cream if you wanted. I kinda messed up on the sugar-I had 5 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 of brown sugar in the batter-but it tasted good! Also if you wanted you could add a teaspoon of vanilla. Mine made 12 regular muffins-Engjoy!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

No-Bake Cookies

Found from the following blog:

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooling Time: 30 minutes

½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1. Add the first four ingredients (through the cocoa powder) to a 4-quart saucepan.
2. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Let cool until set.
(Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)

Carmel-Pecan Brownies with Whipped Cream Frosting

Basic Caramel Recipe

The caramel will harden quickly upon cooling. You want a medium amber color-so keep an eye on it while it's cooking.
Yields 2/3 Cup

1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup cold water

Fill a cup measure halfway with water and put a pastry brush in it; this will be used for washing down the sides of the pan to prevent crystalization. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, stir the sugar, lemon juice and water. Brush down the sides of the pan with water to wash away any sugar crystals. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, occasionally brusing down the sides of the pan, until the mixture starts to color around the edges, 5-8 minutes. Gently swirl the pan once to even out the color and preven the sugar from burning in isolated spots. Continue to cook until the sugar turns medium amber, about 30 seconds more.

Ingredients for the Brownies

6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces-softened for the pan
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (could substitute Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks/Chips)
4 Large eggs
1 3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) unleached all-purpose flour
3/4 ounces (1/4 Cup) natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Ingredients for the Topping

Basic Caramel (Recipe listed above)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the Garnish

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Make the Brownies

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Put the butter and chocolate in a heavy medium -size saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Gradually whisk in the sugar and then whisk vigorously until well blended. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture, banilla and salt. Whisk in the flour and cocoa powder until blended. Stir in the pecans and then scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 20-22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and if necessary, gently press down any puffed areas with a spatula to make the top level, Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Make the Topping

While the browines are baking make the Basic caramel. Remover the pan from the heat and carefully add the cream-the mixture will bubble furiously. When the bubbling has subsided add the butter and gently whisk until completely melted. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Pour the caramel topping over the browines using a spatula to spread it evenly over the entire top. Let the brownies cool on the rack for 45 minutes and then refigerate until the caramel toppping is set, at least 1 hour.

Garnish the Brownies

Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat and sti constantly until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate into a small piping bag fitted with a 1/8 inch plain tip (or pu it in a small zip lock bag seal the bag then snip off a bottom corner to make a small hole.) Drizzle the chocolate over the brownies in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle the chopped pecanse over the top. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Cut the brownies into 36 rectangles. Serve chilled or at room temperature. (well covered, these brownies will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Whipped Cream/Cream Cheese Frosting/Topping (Optional)

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (This is my own add in-it's optional)

In a chilled large bowl, mix chream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in whipping cream and powered sugar with electric mixer on high speed, scrapping bowl occasionally, until soft peasks form. Frost Brownies and referigerate.

Chicken Primavera Pasta

1 LB Boneless skinless chicken breasts but into bite size pieces
2 Cups frozen stir-fry vegetables (I used fresh and stirfried them before hand)
1 Tub (10 oz) Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Creme
2 cups hot cooked fettuccine (or any other noodle)

Cook and stir chicken in nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 7 min or until done. Add vegetables; cook 2 to 3 min or until heated through stirring occasionally. Add cooking creme cook and stir 3 min. Add in cooked pasta and enjoy!!

Sooo good!!

Chocolate Eclaires

1 Cup water
1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 Cups cold milk
1 PKG (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups powered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

1. In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

2. Using atablespoon or a pastry tube with a No. 10 or lare tim form dough into 4 in. x 1-1/2in. strips on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove to a wire rack. Immediately split eclairs open; Remove tops and set aside. Ddiscard sort dough from inside. Cool eclairs.

3. In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix according to package directions. In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla; fold into pudding. Split eclair; Remove soft dough from inside. Fill eclairs (Chill any remaining filling for another use).

4. For frosting in a microwave melt chocolate and butter; Stir until smooth. Stir in sugar and enough hot water to achieve a smooth consistence. Cool slightly. Frost eclairs. Store in refigerator.

(I made ganache to go over the top rather than the frosting).

Emerils' Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Emerils’ Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Mesclun salad mix or favorite greens, for accompaniment
Assortment of salad ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, sliced red onion, chopped celery, diced cucumbers, walnuts
Blue cheese, for garnish
Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the salad mix and desired salad ingredients, top with blue cheese and serve immediately.
If not using dressing right away, cover and refrigerate, whisking or shaking again before use.
*If using a good quality balsamic vinegar you should not need the sugar, but if using a lesser quality you might want the sugar to round out the dressing.

My Modifications
I added 1 Tablespoon more Balsamic vinegar
Only 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
Only 1/2 Cup Olive Oil (instead of 3/4 Cups)
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Oregano

Shake well and referigerate. Don't need very much on salad-drizzle by spoonful.

Broken Spaghetti Risotto with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

I mixed acouple of recipes, and came up with my own combo. Listed are the original recipes then my own.

Rachael Rays' Wild Mushroom Broken Spaghetti Risotto with Arugula and Hazelnuts
Cook Time:
25 min
4 servings
Recipe Tools:
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1 package dried mixed wild mushrooms or porcini mushrooms
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, a few handfuls
4 cups arugula
1/2 lemon, juiced
Place mushrooms, stock and water in a sauce pot and heat, keep warm on low.
Heat a medium saute pan or risotto pan with 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic to pan, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until tender 4 to 5 minutes. Add pasta and toast until deeply golden in color and very nutty in fragrance, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in wine and let it cook away, 1 minute. Ladle in stock every few minutes, stirring for a good minute with each addition of stock to develop starches. Evaporate almost all of the liquid before each addition of stock. Pasta will cook up quicker then rice. Start tasting after about 8 to 9 minutes of cooking time once you begin to add stock. When you are down to the last cup of your liquids, remove mushrooms, chop and add to pasta.
While the pasta cooks, toast hazelnuts in a skillet until fragrant.Peel nuts by rubbing the skins off in a clean kitchen towel.
When pasta is cooked to al dente, stir butter into the pan then stir in the cheese.
Dress arugula with lemon juice, a drizzle olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve risotto in shallow bowls topped with greens and nuts.
NOTE Oven Roasted Chicken Tenders Saltimbocca may be sliced and served atop or as a first or second course to meal.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time:
10 Min
Cook Time:
10 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 20 Min

Original Recipe Yield 3 servings

3 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Clean mushrooms and remove stems, reserve for other use. Place caps on a plate with the gills up.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.
Grill over hot grill for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tresa's Notes

I used wheat spaghetti-toasted it with butter. Then added a cup of water with one beef bullion cube. I added crushed corriander seed, parsley, minced garlic, salt and pepper, a touch of red pepper, parmesan cheese, cilantro, half an onion-diced, rosemary-let that simmer down. I then added some red cooking wine and let that deglaze the pan. Serve with the grilled mushrooms-yumm!

Betty Crocker's Homemade Cherry Pie

40 Min
3 Hr 25 Min

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
6 cups sour cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, if desired

1Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2Gather pastry into a ball. Divide pastry in half; shape into 2 rounds. Wrap flattened rounds of pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable.
3Roll pastry on lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate; or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.
4In large bowl, mix sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Stir in cherries. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over cherries. Cover with top pastry that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
5Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Strawberry Peeps Cupcakes

I'm mixing two recipies -look for my personal notes at bottom of the note.

Easter Peeps Cupcakes
Found On:

- pkg peeps, bunnies or chicks, or both
- 1 bx moist chocolate cake mix, made into cupcakes
according to package directions
- cake frosting, any flavor (i like cream cheese for
this one)
- toasted coconut
- jelly beans or whoppers mini malted milk eggs for
decoration (optional)
1. Make cupcakes according to package directions on cake mix, you can use any flavor cake mix.
2. When cupcakes are cool, frost them and sprinkle edges with toasted coconut or green food colored dyed coconut. Place a few jelly beans or whoppers mini malted eggs. Voila, you just created a Peep Cupcake!

Paula Deen's Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake
Found On:

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.
Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

Tresa's Notes-I used one pound of whole frozen strawberries-put them in a saucepan with about half a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of leamon juice and mashed them up until they were more like a sauce mixture. I made just a regular batch of cheesecake frosting. Also-instead of using a white cake mix-I used Pillsbury's Ultimate strawberry cake mix. Yum-and adorable!

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Recipe found in:
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

6 cups hulled strawberries
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 cups granulated sugar

In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blad, puree strawberries until smooth. Transfer to a large stainless steel saucepan as completed. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine. Heat to 190 degrees F. over meduim-high heat, stirring occassionally. Do not boil. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Mix one part concentrate with one part water, tonic water or ginger ale; adjust concentrate to taste.

Tresa's Notes: I made half the recipe with frozen strawberries. I had to add one cup of water to the blender so the strawberries would blend. Lemon juice from a bottle. I mixed it with 10 cups of water-not sure how big my pitcher is, but it made quite a bit and tastes good!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Betty Crocker's Scrumptious Apple Pie

Recipe found on:

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

Found on


1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 284 | Total Fat: 12.2g | Cholesterol: 67mg

Personal Notes-I made mine into muffins, they bake faster and make for easier clean up! They are very good!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Raspberry Salad Dressing


1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar

In a blender, combine the yogurt, raspberries, vinegar and sugar. Blend until smooth and refrigerate until chilled.

Personal Notes: Better for an apple dip, not so much for lettuce salad. Added a tad bit more sugar.

Pillsbury's Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

1can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4cup chopped green onions (4 medium)

1Heat oven to 350°F.
2If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle.
3Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.
4Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
5Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft)
High Altitude Directions
Nutritional Information
1 Serving (1 Appetizer)Calories 80(Calories from Fat 50),Total Fat 6g(Saturated Fat 2g,Trans Fat 1g),Cholesterol 5mg;Sodium 180mg;Total Carbohydrate 6g(Dietary Fiber 0g,Sugars 1g),Protein 2g;Percent Daily Value*:Calcium ;Exchanges:1/2 Starch;0 Fruit;0 Other Carbohydrate;0 Skim Milk;0 Low-Fat Milk;0 Milk;0 Vegetable;0 Very Lean Meat;0 Lean Meat;0 High-Fat Meat;1 Fat;Carbohydrate Choices:1/2;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Personal Notes-Yum Yum Yum!

Smoky Roasted Eggplant Marinara with Spaghetti Squash or Whole Wheat Spaghetti

If you go to the website listed below, there is also a video of how she makes it!

1 medium firm eggplant, halved lengthwise
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 head garlic
2 red bell pepper
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, whole
2 large spaghetti squash or 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Split squash lengthwise and roast cut-side down on baking sheet 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the squash flesh is very tender. Drizzle eggplant halves with EVOO, salt and pepper and roast face down on a baking sheet. Cut heads of garlic to expose cloves at ends, then drizzle liberally with EVOO, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place alongside eggplant. Roast 40-45 minutes.

Char peppers over open gas burner flame. Transfer to a bowl and cover, until cool enough to handle. Peel and seed the peppers, then roughly chop.

Scoop eggplants and add to a food processor with garlic and peppers.

For pasta, bring a pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Cook spaghetti 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of starchy cooking water.

Heat fire-roasted tomatoes in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and crush up with a potato masher. Stir vegetable puree in with tomatoes and starchy cooking water and heat through.
For squash, split squash lengthwise and roast cut-side down on baking sheet 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the squash flesh is very tender. Flip squash over and shred the squash into spaghetti like strands with tines of a fork, leaving squash in shells. Dress the squash evenly with marinara

Heat fire roasted tomatoes in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and crush up with a potato masher. Stir vegetable puree in with tomatoes and heat through.

Personal Notes: While the Spaghetti Squash was a new experience, I'm not convinced it replaces actual spaghetti. As you can see from my photo, I added hamburger-there had to be some meat somewhere!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries with Marshmallow Dip

On her show, The Rachael Ray Show, Rachel featured a cooking contest from Seventeen Magazine. The winner, Elizabeth Hazelton, made her recipe, Sweet Potato Fries with Marshmallow Dip. It's a recipe worth trying! Yummy!

Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes 1/4 cup olive oil salt pepper ground cinnamon for dip: 2 cups marshmallow fluff 2 Tbsp maple syrup ground cinnamon (for garnish)

Instructions: cut the sweet potatoes into strips. Toss with olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste. Place the strips in one layer on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 30 min on 425 degrees. After the first 15 minutes, turn the fries over. While the fries are cooking, heat the marshmallow fluff and maple syrup in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir to combine. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Personal Notes: One large sweet potato is more than enough for two people.

"Too Much Chocolate" Cupcakes with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

Too Much Chocolate Cake (or cupcakes)


1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Personal Notes-I used a milk chocolate cake mix and make sure box of pudding mix you use is the family size.

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

Put the two together and they are yummy!!