Archive of ‘My Recipes’ category

Three Women and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a pineapple upside down cake fresh out of the oven. My mother made it as a treat today for me and my daughter.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Half Eaten

And this is the same cake 10 minutes later. Boy was it good; so good I have to share the recipe. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make old-fashioned pineapple upside down cake.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
9 whole pineapple slices
12 maraschino cherries
12 pecan halves

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream shortening; gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat thoroughly. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk. Melt butter in the bottom of an oven-proof fry pan. Add brown sugar and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan; bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple slices with a cherry in the center of each slice and additional cherries and pecans between the pineapple slices. Pour cake batter on top of the pineapple mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Loosen sides of the cake from the pan with a knife. Invert onto a serving plate.

Skillet Steak and Corn

Skillet Steak and Corn

When I’m short on time I often reach for this recipe for skillet steak and corn. It’s delicious, easy to prepare, and uses ingredients that are readily available in my pantry. I found the original recipe in Taste of Home magazine, but I’ve made a few changes over the years. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make skillet steak and corn:

1 lb. skirt steak cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup red wine (I used merlot)
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
Hot cooked rice

In a skillet brown the steak, onions, garlic, and thyme in oil. Add the beef broth and wine; simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomatoes; cover and simmer for 15 minutes longer. Add corn; heat through. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Fried Rice

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

I found these recipes for sweet and sour chicken and vegetable fried rice on Pinterest yesterday, and they looked so good that I had to try them. My daughter loves Chinese food, and the end results were so delicious that I scored lots of mom points with this dinner. I nearly asked her if I was “momtastic or momtacular.”

I tried two Pinterest recipes this weekend; one was a bomb so I was hesitant to try these recipes. I must say that the cooking process–dipping the chicken bits into cornstarch and then beaten egg and pan frying it was time consuming and created big messes on my counter tops, stove, and fingers. So some process improvement was in order. Halfway through the dipping process, while I was complaining about my messy counters and sticky fingers my daughter came up with a brilliant idea: just combine the cornstarch and eggs, stir it into a paste, and then pour it over the chicken. No more messy counters or hands, and it really sped up the preparation time.

This sweet and sour chicken is amazing but it’s loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. I reduced the garlic salt by half since there’s plenty of salt in the soy sauce, and didn’t miss it at all. I may substitute garlic powder for the garlic salt the next time I make this dish to further reduce the salt.

The vegetable fried rice was also delicious and a snap to prepare. No complaints here and no tweaking of the recipe was necessary. If you throw in some diced chicken, ham, or shrimp it would make a great main dish. With the process improvement now in place, this make-at-home sweet and sour chicken and vegetable fried rice are must tries. Here’s a close-up shot. Get the recipe here.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice2

How to Make a McCafe Frappuccino at Home

Make-at-Home McCafe Frappuccino1

In November I shared my recipe for how to make a McDonald’s McCafe iced mocha at home. Yesterday, my daughter asked me to duplicate her favorite McCafe drink–a mocha frappucinno. She really loves this frozen drink, and I wanted to duplicate it as closely as possible, so I bought a McCafe mocha frapp to use as a taste comparison and got to work. It only took me one attempt, plus a few adjustments, to come up a recipe that tastes very close to the original.

The same ingredients are used to make both McCafe drinks, but the proportions and preparation are different. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a home-made McCafe mocha frappuccino:

Iced Mocha Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Starbucks Via iced coffee mix
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 cup water
2 cups crushed ice
Canned whipped cream

Combine the Starbucks Via coffee mix, heavy whipping cream, chocolate syrup, water, and ice in a blender. Blend until slushy. Pour about one tablespoon of chocolate syrup in the bottom of the glass, add the frozen drink mixture, top with whipped cream, then drizzle with chocolate.

Now you can enjoy your favorite McCafe iced coffee treats from the comfort of your own home, plus it’s cheaper.

Easy Cranberry-Raisin Biscotti

Cranberry Biscotti1

There’s nothing I like more than stealing a few minutes of time for myself in the evening to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and nibble on something sweet. And these cranberry-raisin biscotti are a real treat. The original recipe called only for cranberries but I added raisins for a touch more sweetness and a bit more chewiness. These biscuits are highly addictive so plan on making a double batch since they freeze well. I like to freeze them in individual bags of two cookies each; they make great grab-and-go treats and they thaw quickly.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make cranberry-raisin biscotti:

Cranberry Biscotti Ingredients1

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 oz. white chocolate (optional)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat the butter, eggs, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, dry ingredients, cranberries, raisins, and pecans. Mix until blended.

Divide the dough in half. Shape each piece into a 2 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ x 1″ high log. Place logs on a cookie sheet covered with wax or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Transfer logs to a cutting board. Slice logs on the diagonal into 1/2″ wide slices. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn biscotti and bake 5 minutes more or until slightly brown. Cool completely.

Optional: Melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top of the cookies (or dip if you prefer).

Creamy Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding2

This corn pudding recipe is unique because in addition to the typical ingredients of corn, butter, milk, eggs, and sugar it also includes cornmeal for a still creamy but hardier side dish. I often serve corn pudding at holiday meals and pot luck dinners because it’s easy to prepare, transports well, reheats fine in the microwave, and both children and adults love its slightly sweet, creamy goodness. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make corn pudding:

Corn Pudding Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 can (15.25 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14.25 oz.) cream-style corn
1 cup half and half (or milk)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean.

Corn pudding makes a great side for chicken, turkey, or beef. This week I served it with barbecued beef brisket (recipe below) and green beans. It was a great combo.

Oven Baked BBQ Brisket2

Super Easy Barbecued Beef Brisket

Oven Baked BBQ Brisket1

This recipe for barbequed beef brisket is so simple and the results are so delicious that I reach for it again and again. It requires only a few ingredients, takes minutes to prepare, and cleanup is a breeze since its cooked in an oven roasting bag. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make barbequed beef brisket:

Oven Baked BBQ Brisket Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 beef brisket (4-5 lbs.)
4-6 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bottle (12 oz.) chili sauce
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2-3 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped

Rub brisket with liquid smoke, celery seed, and pepper. Place in an oven roasting bag (or an aluminum foil pouch). Combine the chili sauce, barbeque sauce, and chipotle peppers; pour over roast and tightly seal the roasting bag (or foil pouch). Bake at 325 degrees for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender. Cool slightly then slice thinly against the grain.

I served this with creamy corn pudding (recipe coming up next) and green beans for a colorful presentation. Leftovers make great barbequed beef sandwiches; I like to top mine with coleslaw. Doesn’t this look good?

Oven Baked BBQ Brisket2

Hearty Winter Meals–Beef Stew

Beef Stew1

On cold winter days like yesterday nothing hits the spot more than a steamy bowl of soup or stew, and this hearty beef stew really hit the spot. This recipe is easy to prepare but requires a long cooking time to tenderize the meat and vegetables, so you’ll need to plan ahead. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make beef stew:

Beef Stew Ingredients

Ingredients:

3-4 pounds of stew meat (or a 4-lb. boneless chuck roast, defatted and cut into cubes)
1 tablespoon oil
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth
2 cans (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup red wine (or cooking sherry)
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 package fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
6-8 fingerling potatoes, cubed
Seasoning salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef in hot oil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring to ensure the meat browns on all sides. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, wine, soup mix, and onions. Cover and cook until the meat is tender (about 1.5 – 2 hours). Add additional beef broth or water if too much liquid evaporates during cooking. Add the mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes and cook until the vegetables are tender (about 1/2 hour). Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and serve with cornbread, butter, and honey.

Quick Holiday Meals–Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup1

When I was young my mother always prepared big pots of soup during winter storms. I could always count on a steaming bowl of soup to warm me when I came in from the cold on rainy, icy, or snowy days. So when the cold wind is blowing and sleet is falling like it did several times this week, I whip of a batch of chicken noodle soup for my family. I want to pass on the goodness that my mother shared with me onto my daughter. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make quick chicken noodle soup:

Chicken Noodle Soup Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, trimmed of fat, and cut into thirds
1 box (12 oz.) bow tie pasta
4 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-size pieces
6-8 honey gold fingerling potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan cook the bow tie pasta in rapidly boiling water until its al dente (12-14 minutes). Drain and set aside. Meanwhile combine the chicken, chicken broth, bouillon cubes, corn, diced onion, carrots, and potatoes in a large soup pot over medium heat. Watch the chicken carefully and remove it to a platter when it’s no longer pink in the center; set aside, cool slightly, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook the vegetables until fork tender (about 30 minutes). Add the pasta and cubed chicken. Season with salt and pepper. I like to serve this soup with biscuits topped with butter and honey.

Chicken Noodle Soup2

Holiday Side Dish–Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Twice Baked Potatoes1

This year my mother hosted Christmas dinner. Since I come from a large family my mother cooked the main course and asked each of her children to bring a side dish. I brought this twice baked potato casserole; it’s always a hit, travels well, and heats up fine in the microwave (oven space is at a premium on holidays). I got the recipe from a coworker years ago but made some changes over the years. This dish is somewhat time consuming to assemble since you must bake the potatoes then peel them and fry and crumble the bacon, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make twice baked potato casserole:

Twice Baked Potatoes Ingredients1

Ingredients:

8-10 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, baked and peeled (about 5 lbs.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I used minced garlic in water)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (don’t substitute dried chives)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
4 green onions, sliced

Microwave the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Cool slightly, then peel with a knife (I find this faster than peeling raw potatoes). Cut the potatoes into chunks and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the stick of butter on top of the hot potatoes and allow it to melt. Stir in two cups of cheese, the sour cream, garlic, chives, salt, and pepper. Spoon into a greased 13 x 9″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees or until thoroughly heated. Cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the top with alternating stripes (in a diagonal pattern) of crumbled bacon and cheese. Sprinkle green onions around the edges.

Serve this dish was baked ham or your favorite meat loaf and a green vegetable for a colorful presentation.

Twice Baked Potatoes2

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