Friday, July 31, 2009

Awesome Baked FAMILY Food

I am follower of the mantra that "Family recipes are the best!" and I do think that this is sooo true....especially when it comes to baked goods! My grandmother's carrot cake is the bomb-diggity! So moist and tender and carroty haha! Here is her recipe that I enjoy to bake whenever I am in the mood for something sudo-healthy. (aka it has carrots in it)

~Myrna's Carrot Cake~
1 1/2 c. salad oil
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. raisins

Combine all ingredients and mix together well. Bake in a 10 x 15 in. pan at 350 for 45 min. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Okay, so I must admit that there are some sweet items that I am not a huge fan of, and one of them is overly sweet and cream-cheesy cream cheese frosting. It just makes my teeth hurt, but sometimes it can be very totally depends on the recipe. It is not my favorite frosting, but it is the best one to used with carrot cake. And...I happened to be privileged enough to hear a family recipe. It came from my cousins wife and it is as simple as can be - just beat the ingredients together and voilà, its done! Here she be...

~M's Cream Cheese Frosting~
1 blk. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip
1 c. powdered sugar

Beat together with a mixer on high until light and fluffy. Spread on cooled carrot cake. Cool in refrigerator to help frosting to set. Cut and enjoy!

This cream cheese frosting is sooo light and wonderful! It is my new fave! I have also made it with low fat or fat free cream cheese and cool whip and they are both delicious! ENJOY!!

Also...I have the recipe for BLACK BOTTOM CUPCAKES!!!

~Black Bottom Cupcakes~
Cream Cheese Mixture:
1 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter or butterscotch chips
Cake Mixture:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, egg, and salt. Beat together well. Stir in the semi sweet chips and the peanut butter or butterscotch chips. Set aside. In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, mix well. Add in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat together well. Fill the muffin tins half way full with the chocolate cake mixture. Top off the muffin tins with a heaping tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture. Bake in oven for 25-30 min. Check on the edges to see if toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 min. in the pan. Remove and cool completely on a rack. ENJOY!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Good Yummy Things to Bake!!

I made some thing NEW!! Yesss!

So, I was going to make some White Chocolate Citrus Cookies, but then I realized that I did not have an orange to zest and I had just bought some white chocolate chips just to make them! So, not wanting to waste, but not wanting to go out and buy more stuff, I opened the recipe box and found this one that used white chocolate chips!

Polka-Dot Cookie Bars

Yeah, they are a bar versus a cookie, but thats okay with me! I like most things that are sweet! So, here is the recipe that I used, slightly modified, and I will deem them:

~Black & White Cookie Bars~
1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (10 oz.) vanilla chips, divided

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Set aside 1/4 c. vanilla chips; stir remaining chips into the batter. Spread evenly into a greased 15 in. x 10 in. x 1 in. baking pan. Sprinkle with reserved chips. Bake at 375F for 18-23 min or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool before cutting. (I doubled this recipe and used a slightly different pan; they were thicker so I had to increase the baking time slightly.)

These were a hit!! Enjoy!

Cookies for the Troops!

So, as some may Hubby currently serving overseas in Iraq. So, one day, about a month ago, me and my sister-in-law decided to take a day and bake some cookies!! Then we packed them up in tin cans and shipped them out and they were duly devoured! They were very very yummy!

These are the cookies that we made:
  1. Monster Cookies
  2. Welcome to the Neighborhood Cookies (White Chocolate Citrus Cookies)
  3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
It took almost all day! Mostly it was the baking part, but there is some assembly! We did have a fun time eating cookies that were already done while waiting for others to bake! haha!

Well, here are the recipes that I used:

~Monster Cookies~
(from Trinity Lutheran Church Cookbook)
6 eggs
2 2/4 c. (1 lb.) brown sugar
2 c. sugar
1/2 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tbsp. light corn syrup
4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine
3 3/4 c. (1 1/2 lbs.) peanut butter
9 cups. oatmeal
1 bg. chocolate chips
1/2 - 1 c. butterscotch chips
1 bg. mini M&M's

Mix all ingredients together well. Drop by large spoonfuls on a greased cookies sheet (or use parchment paper). Bake at 350F for 10 min. Take out of oven while still a little puffy. Let sit on tray for 1 min. then transfer to cooling racks. This recipe makes a LOT of cookies! What I have posted here is a half batch!

~White Chocolate Citrus Cookies~
(AkA: Welcome to the Neighborhood Cookies, from 2000 Taste of Home Cookbook)
2 c. (4 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 c. flour
4-6 tsp. grated orange peel*
2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 pinches ground nutmeg
2 pinches ground cloves
2 pgks. (24 oz.) vanilla chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars; beat in eggs. In another bowl, combine the flour, orange peel, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves; add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the vanilla chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350F for 12-14 min. or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks. This recipe makes a good amount of cookies, but they do not spread out a lot in the oven and thus are small 2-bite cookies. *Grate the orange while it is still whole, then make some freshly squeezed OJ!

~Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies~
(from 2000 Taste of Home Cookbook)
1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. creamy peanut butter, divided
1 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugars add 1/2 c. peanut butter. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Remove from mixer. In clean mixing bowl, blend confectioners sugar with remaining peanut butter (1 1/2 c.) until smooth. Roll this mixture into 48 balls, 1 in. each. Divide chocolate dough into 48 pieces; flatten each into a 3 in. circle. (I did this by using a flat bottomed cup with Saran wrap on it.) Place on peanut butter ball on each circle; bring edges over to completely cover it. (Dough may crack; reshape cookies as needed.) Place cookies with seam side down on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake at 375F for 7-9 min. or until set. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. This recipe makes a good amount of cookies, about 4 dozen.

Phew!! This is all of the baking that we did in one day! It was well worth it when you are sending them to the hard-working troops overseas! They were all very good cookies, the Monster ones are a hit with kids, and my new favorite are the White Chocolate Citrus Cookies...they have such a different and good flavor!

I hope that you enjoy the cookies and try some for yourself!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cleaning out the InBox...

I found some recipes that I intended wanted to, I have some time...

~Grandma's Pie Crust~
2 c. flour
2/3 c. shortening
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. water

Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until completely combined. This takes a good 15 min. or so. The shortening should be entirely combined. The mixture should be fine with very few lumps in it. Add the water and mix it again and form it into 2 balls. Roll out to fit pie pan and for top crust. (I doubled this recipe because I like a good amount of crust.)

~Paper Bag Apple Pie~
4 lg. apples
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 stick butter (thinly sliced)
1 brown paper bag
Paper clips

Peel and core the apples and then slice them thinly. Combine the 1/2 c. sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, nutmeg and cinnamon together and stir into the apples. Put this entire mixture into an unbaked 9in. pie shell. Combine the remaining 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. flour and sprinkle over the apple mixture. Over this entire mixture, evenly space the sliced stick of butter. Cover with the top crust. Place the pie in the paper bag and close with paper clips. Place the bag on a cookie sheet and bake at 400F for 1 hour. Split bag and cool.

The outcome after it was devoured by my hubby's roommates!

Oatmeal Cookies Abound!!

So....the story goes that I had some dried fruit that I bout about a year ago...not to was not opened so it was still fresh...but I needed to use it, with having an event to bake for, I made some Dried Hibiscus Flower, Raisin, and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies ( I know, the name needs some work! haha!

But anywhos....the recipe that I used is my oatmeal cookie recipe and then simply added these ingredients (for a double recipe):

I pkg. dried Hibiscus flowers (chopped fine)
1 c. raisins
1 c. Macadamia nuts (chopped fine)

They take the same amount of time to bake and what not...and they are quite yummy and they get great looks and awe's when you reveal what is in them!

Here are some photos!!

Lined up on the sheet before baking

Posed with an uncut Hibiscus flower

The finished product!!
(I was going to pose this with a Hibiscus flower but is was thrown away)

  • Currants
  • Golden Raisins
  • Dried Mangosteen
  • Dried Pomelo
  • Candied Ginger
  • Dried Blueberries
I hope that you enjoy them! (try them, they are amazing!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Week(s) at the CABIN!

I LOVE being at our cabin! It is one of my favorite vacation spots EVER!! haha...don'e get me wrong though...I love going to new and exciting places, but there are some places that just suck you in and your hooked for life! I almost grew up at this place as a kid...many a summer days were spent here and all most ALL of my 4th of July celebrations have been here as well. It is a family cabin in north west Wisconsin on Bone Lake. It was my grandparents house on my mothers side of the family, and now my mother and her two sisters split the place. It is wonderful...much more so since we have redone the lower level, added another bathroom, and repainted the upstairs kitchen and living room. The place is so much more updated and cool...more like a cabin than a home...but still quite nice!

On a of the best things to do/places to be on a lake

The hammock where I like to relax...a lot

A wide vertical shot of the afternoon sun...

One of my other favorite activities...besides skiing...kayaking!

Another staple cabin activity...tanning!

Along with sitting by the fire!

Tubing is another quality activity...

Sometimes getting up really early and watching the sun rise is a must...

This just cant be beat...

I find myself taking many artsy pictures as well...

I love waves and water...

And sun, water and the texture of wood...

This is the place where my heart will always longs to be here when I am in the mood for family, familiar, and friends...It brings me back home and brings out the kid in me...I LOVE this place...

And I would like to leave all of my WONDERFUL readers with the best! FIREWORKS!! I love them and they are a cabin memory that I will always and forever have!

Peace and Summer happiness!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It has, yet again, been a WHILE since I last posted....That is totally an understatement! Ha! But...I would like to has been really weird and crazy...

Trying to find a job...
Hubby's deployed...
School is over...

Eh...the economy what do I do?? I cook things!

This is the latest thing that I have made...

Æbleskiver (Danish meaning apple slices) are traditional Danish pancakes in the distinctive shape of a sphere. Somewhat similar in texture to American pancakes crossed with a popover, Æbleskiver are solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover.

This the pan that they are cooked's cast iron

Let me tell you...they are yummy!! They are traditionally eaten with syrup like with pancakes, but you can also use jam or jelly, or honey. They are also good when dipped in powdered sugar, or rolled in cinnamon sugar...really good and addicting!!

There are many recipes that I have come across, but this is the one that I liked the best:

(makes about 3 doz.)
2 c. milk
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Seperate the egg yolks and whites in two large bowls. Add the milk to the egg yolks and beat together. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the milk mixture until just combined. Lumps are okay! Add 1/2 tsp. oil to a well seasoned Aebleskiver pan that is heated. Add 1 heaping spoon full to each well. Cook for about 1 min. then turn with a wooden skewer. Let new side set and then turn again...this takes a while to perfect...and describe...but its okay if they don't look perfect, they will still taste so! Check to make sure the middle is cooked by poking each ball with the skewer. Remove from pan and eat!

Here are some Pics:

First add batter

Turn a quarter of way

What they look like on the inside

Golden brown and done!

Then enjoy with all the fixings!