Monday, March 29, 2010

Tropical Summer Cake

This cake is a forkful of summer.

Like my Brat recipe, when I decided to make this cake, I was exploding with blue skies and summer joy and couldn't wait for something light and flavorful to eat on my patio.

With all the flavor of summer citrus, this cake surpassed my expectations.

I made this for my friends as well and it was met with SPECTACULAR reviews. For any pineapple lover, this cake will complete your life.

Tropical Summer Cake

1 Yellow cake mix: 4 eggs, 1 ¼ cup oil, 1 small can mandarin oranges (with juice) Blend well. Bake at 350 for 25-30

Cool entirely (I'd recommend you put it in the fridge for an hour), and then put on topping.

Topping: 8 oz cool whip, 1 small box vanilla instant pudding, 1 15oz can of crushed pineapple (with the juice)

Once you've added the topping, serve as you like! It keeps for a good chunk of time in the fridge so, feel free to savor :)

Corned Beef and Cabbage...Pasta

With my lovely left over corned beef and cabbage from St. Patrick's day, I decided to make some yummy corned beef and cabbage pasta.

Yep. Again, welcome to college. 

The pro of college here would be that I try my darndest not to throw out any food if I can help it. Sure, it backfires sometimes, for example, when I made this dish and it yielded more pasta then I could manage as a single body in a week and had to toss it eventually. BUT! Whenever possible, my broke self tries to make the most out of my ingredients handy and comes up with new creations.

Here is one such creation. The recipe is pretty basic and the "sauce" is my family's world famous (or at least famous within the Midwest/branches of the family) corned beef sauce. If you don't feel like the pasta dish, make your corned beef and just top it with this divine sauce.

Corned beef and this horseradish sauce are the perfect pairing :)

Corned Beef Sauce:

-1 envelope chicken gravy mix

-2 tbls prepared horseradish

-Measure 1 ½ cups cooking liquid (water/gravy)

Put cooking liquid-- (by using leftovers, I didn't have any gravy so it was all water but, it turned out just as well)-- in small sauce pan on stove. Stir in mix, stir until dissolved. Stir in horseradish. Bring to boil. Simmer back down and serve.

To make the leftover Pasta:

Dice up your corned beef and cabbage left overs until bite size. Cook a package of egg noodles according to directions. Mix all together in a large bowl, top with sauce.

Seriously worth trying. Delicious spin on tradition.

Bratwurst with Caramelized Onions and Beer


The joy of escaping from the grey skies and freezing rain is inexplicable. 

I stopped by market as soon as I was free from class and picked up an onion and some brats. 

I don't have a grill but, making them on the stove turned out decently and brought the taste of summer into my apartment just as I had hoped it would.

Plus, the simmering smell of meat, onions, and beer was absolutely mouth watering. 

Bratwurst with Caramelized Onions and Beer
-1 pckg Bratwurst
-1 small onion (white or red) - sliced
-3 tablespoons butter
-A few pinches sugar
-1 bottle beer (I used Molson Canadian- it was deliciousssss)

In a deep pan, melt the butter and brown your onion pieces. Add the sugar, continue to caramelize some and then pour in the beer. Add your bratwurst, put lid on pan and let everything boil and simmer together for 30 minutes or so. Just until everything is cooked through. Check occasionally, rotating sides. If you have a grill, take your brats off when they are cooked but still soft (not browned). If you don't, keep them in the pan until the beer is all but evaporated and all your sides on each brat are browned. 

Serve on a bun if you have them! As the picture implies, I didn't but, I did have toast and once i cut up 2 brats and laid them out, it became a deliciously messy sandwich.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spinach Corn Muffins

Yes, they do look green which could look kind of off putting to children and squemish adults.

However, they are delicious. The spinach makes them more moist and compliments the cornmeal joyfully. 

Joyfully... yes.

Plus, it's some hidden health and vitamins in the classic comfort food. 

Clearly, worth a go. Whenever I make this, people are amazed how easy they are and how delicious. As mentioned, the spinach adds some moisture to the usually dry cornbread without taking from the flavor, enhancing even with the delicious taste of spinach. 

You need to make these :)

Spinach Corn Muffins
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (8 oz) packages Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with Pam.

Prepare the spinach in the microwave as directed on the package. Squeeze/drain out the excess water. Prepare both packages corn muffin mix as directed on box, ( essentially, add eggs and milk and mix). Stir in the cooked/drained spinach. Divide batter among the muffin tin. Bake 15-18 minutes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Goat Cheese & Pesto with Bruschetta

Frankly, the week back to school after Spring break is pure, bitter, hell.

Yep. I said it. Hell.

So by the end of the week, I was ready to die. Or at least splurge on my grocery list for some divine italian treats.

I picked up some fresh italian bread and goats cheese and a really nice little jar of pesto and the week melted away as I took the first bite of rich deliciousness. Hopefully you find it as satisfying and easy to throw together as I do. Enjoy :)

Broiled Goats Cheese Pesto Blend with Bruschetta
-1 package soft goats cheese (approx 11 ounces)
-1 container prepared pesto
-Prepared Bruschetta as a topping (*either packaged or home made, but you can substitute with chopped sun dried tomatoes. they 100% also work as a great topping)

Cream goats cheese and pesto together. If you're not a broke college student such as myself, you probably have a processor you can use to puree the two. Slice the bread into hearty slices. Lay out on a cookie sheet and spread a thick layer of the pesto/cheese blend onto each slice. Broil in oven for approximately 4 minutes. WATCH LIKE A HAWK! Some slices may crisp up faster then others depending on thickness and such so you may need more or less time. When done, let cool, spoon bruschetta over, and serve.

May your audience be lost in an "mmmmm" moment.

Epic Irish Scones

Oh my gosh. One of the top requested recipes of all time in my family are these spectacular Irish Scones.

They are half gone before they've even cooled off in our house. It's insane.

But trust me when I say the insanity is warranted. 

These are a handed down and well made Irish family staple. You need this recipe. From all the things I've posted to date, THIS is the thing you need to print off or write out or whatever. This recipe is one every family needs to have, every person should have.

Raisins are the classic choice but, chocolate chips make them decadent. For the breakfast scone, I would always go with raisin. But if you are a chocolate fan in any way, you need to make 1/2 the batch with chips instead.

Alright! Enough ranting. Here's the much ranted over recipe. Make and enjoy :)

Irish Scones
-4 cups flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup sugar
-1 stick butter
-1 pint sour cream
-2 eggs
-2 cups raisins (Or chocolate chips)

Combine all dry ingredients, cut in the butter, add raisins, beat eggs in sour cream and then blend all. 

Drop on a greased sheet, letting the rough peaks stay in shape. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

B.L.T. Dip

This simple dip is simply amazing. If you love tomato and bacon, (and who doesn't? I mean, really), then you must make this.

Must. Make it a new life goal of yours. 

This recipe is always asked after and it's really almost a joke how people react when I list the four simple ingredients. 

Yep. Four. 

Make and enjoy, my darlings. Make and enjoy.

B.L.T. Dip
-1 cup mayo
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup (cooked) bacon, diced
-2 ripe tomatoes, diced

Combine all ingredients, chill for an hour. Serve with crackers. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Pesto Carbonara Tortellini

In keeping with the green theme, I bought this lovely spinach tortellini stuffed with three cheese and decided to make an experimental carbonara to mix it with. I was heavy on the eggs because I wanted it to be more...protein like and a bit thicker and it turned out nicely. When I blended it with the pesto, it combined into a more eggy-creamy-pesto which was perfecttttt.

Turned out to be a delicious lunch. Hope you can enjoy it as well.

Pesto Carbonara
-2 packages tortellini
-1 lb bacon
-1 jar basil pesto sauce
-1 cup cream
-4 eggs
-1/4 cup parmesan

Cook bacon til crisp. Cut into bite size pieces. Whisk together the egg and parmesan, add with the cream, salt and pepper to a pan and simmer to reduce until thick and creamy. Cook the pasta and drain it. Add pasta and bacon to the cream sauce and stir in the pesto. Serve and enjoy! 

Green Beer Day Treats: Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Sorry I have fallen off the face of the blogging world! It was spring break and then, well....

I go to a college that has created it's own drunken holiday known as Green Beer Day. 

Yep. Green Beer Day.

What that means is, the Thursday before Spring Break is a morning til night day of drinking green alcohol, the bars opening at 5AM and staying open til 3AM, students ditching classes left and right, and of course the school itself being upset with the events transpiring.

What happened was long back in my school's history, the kids attending apparently used to get particularly rowdy and mess up the town on St. Patrick's Day. So, trying to be sneaky and solve their problem, the university moved Spring Break so that it would fall over St. Pats and no one would be on campus. 

Pretty smart. Until the students found out that they'd done it. 

In retaliation, the student body created Green Beer Day as the Thursday before break and still partied, possibly harder then before, and it became an immediate tradition on campus. Decades later it continues on. 

And so! I was rather distracted by midterms then GBD then Spring Break.

I am back at school now though and have a pinch of time to update this lovely blog. Here are the treats I made for GBD.

Since we were up at 5AM, I thought some muffins to fill stomaches before beer would probably be a good idea and decided to take a whirl at the recipe posted here by Stylish Cuisine. I added cinnamon to my sugar, making my muffins cinnamon sugar rather then just plain sugar but, no matter how you slice it, the end result was just DELICIOUS.

So good, I don't have words. They tasted so much worse for me then they are. Not to say they are GOOD for you but, they taste like pure buttery sin and are probably 1/2 as bad as all that. I also doubled the recipe to make enough to feed everyone (the recipe claims it makes 10 large muffins or 24 mini, I made about 60 mini with the double batch so, the math is wrong somewhere...I'd double it again just to have bunches of delicious.)

Anyway :) Bake and Enjoy

Sugar Donut Muffins
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2 tsp baking power
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-1/2 cup sugar and some cinnamon, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract. Divide batter evenly into muffin pans.
Bake for 15-18 minutes for standard-sized muffins or 11-12 minutes for mini-muffins.While muffins are baking, melt butter and pour remaining sugar into a small bowl, add cinnamon to taste (about 1tsp worked well for me).
When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in sugar. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

P.S. I made some chocolate cupcakes with green icing for later that night! Turned out cute too :)