Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trader Joe's Gingerbread Cake

I found this bundt pan, and it reminded me a Christmas
Come to find out, it's called Fiesta Party by Nordic so I'm not really sure it was intended for Christmas
But it looked good to me

I do not know what it is about bundt pans 
but
they seem to be my "go to"

I think because I can make several different flavor cakes
and know that one will appeal to someone 
 
This is one of my Christmas 2014 desserts that I served along with a 
traditional bundt red/green/white swirl cake
and
a heath bar cake (no bundt)

I always like to have gingerbread. 
 It just looks Christmasy
and
everyone loves it



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Christmas Bundt Cake

Red & Green Bundt Cake

Red and Green Swirl Christmas Bundt Cake
This is one of the desserts I served Christmas 2014

I used a white cake mix.
I beat the ingredients based on the box directions.
I separated the mixture into 3 separate bowls
Mixed one with green gel coloring
Mixed the other with red gel coloring
Left some white

I poured the white mixture into the bundt pan first
then layered the green inside the white
then the red inside the green

I will admit that I seem to have trouble
getting bundt cakes to come out "clean"
in the traditional bundt pans
The bundt pans that have more detail
I seem to not have a problem
I think I get impatient and try to remove it too soon before it's completely cool

So, what you cannot see if that this cake didn't come out clean
It separated
I was initially going to just use a powdered sugar glaze
but that did not hide my mistake
So, thanks to pinterest
I found a solution
White "whipping frosting" in the can
I separated it out into 2 bowls
Added green gel coloring to one
Then red gel coloring to the other
microwaved them "separately"
and "ta da"
It looked amazing
and no one was the wiser 
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Overnight Salad

This salad is amazing.  
A friend of mine mentioned how they have it every year for Thanksgiving.  
I started serving it 2 years ago at Christmas, 
and it was a big hit. 
I even make it at Easter.
  
This salad was part of my Christmas 2014 dinner party. 
This recipe serves a big crowd (15-20)
I served it with Scalloped Potatoes, a ham from Honeybaked Ham, and a shrimp/crawfish "dressing" aka "stuffing"

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the salad 
with the bacon and parmesan cheese on top

Overnight Salad before the dressing

Overnight Salad with dressing

Overnight Salad

In large bowl add:
  • Lettuce (torn)
  • Cauliflower (chopped)
  • Broccoli (chopped)
  • Purple Onion (chopped)
  • Carrots (grated)
  • Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
In separate bowl mix:
  • 2 cups Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 (1oz) Package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Spread dressing on top of vegetables.
Seal container and refrigerate overnight.
 

Before Serving:
Toss salad.
Mix in and/or sprinkle parmesan cheese and *bacon bits on top.


*Note: I do not use bacon bits.  I'm pretty picky about bacon.  I put a couple slices on a baking sheet with a rack. I cover the baking sheet with foil first . Cook on 400 degrees until the bacon is crispy, about 20-25 minutes .

Monday, March 2, 2015

Green Chile, Cheese and Onion Enchiladas

 Enchiladas are one of my absolute favorite recipes.  
As a matter of fact, it was enchiladas that inspired me to create this blog in 2008.  

It has been very cold here in Dallas this past week.  On Wednesday, I got home from work, and was craving comfort food.  I was able to create these enchiladas with what I had in my fridge and pantry. 

I always keep a couple of cans of 
enchilada sauce and tortillas 
in the house. 

So, with a can of green chile enchilada sauce, some light sour cream, small can of green chiles, onion, cheddar cheese, and corn tortillas, I was able to whip these up in about 15 minutes + another 30 for cooking. 

There are so many ways to make enchiladas.  You just need  tortillas, cheese and a red or green enchilada sauce. You can add in veggies and meat. It's totally up to your personal taste (and what you have on hand)
I
Green Chile, Cheese, and Onion Enchiladas

Just one enchilada




INGREDIENTS
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 - 15oz can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 onion - chopped finely
  • 1 - 4oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese - grated

DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Light spray a 11x9 (or 8x8) pan with cooking spray
  • Whisk the sour cream and green chile sauce together in a bowl
  • Drain the green chiles
  • Soften the tortillas in the microwave. Place 5 in between 2 pieces of damp paper towels.  Microwave for about 45 seconds (depends on the power of your microwave - mine is weak). 
  • Place cheese, onion, green chiles in the center of the tortilla. (leave some cheese, green chiles and onions for the top of the enchiladas.  Roll the tortilla and place face down in the pan. Continue until the other 4 are done.  Microwave the next batch of 5 - repeat.
  • Pour the green chile /sour cream mixture over the enchiladas.  Top with remaining cheese, green chiles and onions. 
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes.   Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Crowd Pleasing Scalloped Potatoes

Christmas Dinner 2014 
was at my home this year. 
This is one of the 
many recipes I prepared 

The main course was a ham 
I ordered from Honeybaked Ham.  

It made it easier for me to focus 
on sides and desserts 
for 20 people. 

This recipe was the number 1 favorite. 

Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients

Sliced Potatoes with the mandoline

Scalloped Potatoes with cheese sauce BEFORE

Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese Sauce AFTER

Scalloped Potatoes (single serving)


INGREDIENTS
  • 8 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  •  4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • Spray a large foil roasting pan with cooking spray
  • Peel and slice potatoes. (Note: I use a mandoline to get consistent slices.  Mine is a cheap one from Walmart as I am very afraid of slicing a finger off)
  • Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water while cooking the cheese sauce
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat
  • Whisk in flour until well-combined
  • Whisk in heavy cream, salt, black and cayenne pepper, and 2 cups of monterey jack cheese
  • Reduce heat to a simmer; continue to whisk until sauce thickens slightly
  • Whisk in 2 cups of cheddar cheese
  • Place potatoes in the large roasting pan evenly
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the slices
  • Cook 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until top is golden brown
  • Add 1 cup of grated cheese on top and bake another 10 minutes (Optional)
  • Let sit for about 10 minutes and serve