Sunday, July 29, 2007

Joyfully Almond Brownies

It's been a while since I baked something to take to the office. I took a basic one-bowl brownie recipe and added some coconut and almonds to come up with this. These were so easy.


1 cup butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 pan. In a microwave or in a saucepan melt the butter and chocolate. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and stir well. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well mixed. Add almonds and coconut. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. When cooled cut into squares.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fruit Smoothie

Too hot to cook. Not worth heating up the kitchen for one person and no special occasions, so this is my addition for this week. This is kind of a thrown together recipe. I usually use whatever fruit and yogurt I have on hand and put my blender to use.

1 6 oz. Yoplait Light Thick and Creamy Yogurt (can use any kind of yogurt you prefer -- I used Strawberry Banana Orange Sunrise for this one).
1/2 banana
1 cup frozen fruit for smoothies (I find this in the frozen section). This particular mix had pineapple, strawberries, and mango.
1/2 cup canned peaches

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

If I don't have frozen fruit, I throw in a few ice cubes. On this one I just added a few tablespoons of milk to thin it out. This was the consistency of a milk shake. It was pretty good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chocolate Cake

I made a birthday cake for someone in the office today. This cake is usually made as a layer cake, but I decided to try my Nordicware Heart pan that my son and daughter-in-law gave me for Christmas. It lost some of the form with the icing on the cake. This pan makes a beautiful cake that can just be dusted with powdered sugar to get the true design of the pan.


1-3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and dust with cocoa two 9" layer cake pans (I've used a 9 x 13 before or a bundt pan). Set aside.

In large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until blended.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat well until combined, about 2 minutes. While beating, heat water to boiling. Stir boiling water into cake batter.

Pour the thin batter into the prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan, top springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa
4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a saucepan, melt together butter and cocoa. Stir until smooth. Using mixer, alternately beat in powdered sugar and milk until frosting is smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla. Frost cake as desired.

Butter Pecan Quick Bread


2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients. Add egg and buttermilk and vanilla. Stir until just blended together. Add pecans. Pour into a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Drizzle with icing.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad


8 ounces farfalle pasta (bowtie) cooked and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
1 small can sliced black olives
3 green onions sliced
Garnish with 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Italian dressing (I used Ken's Light Caesar)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I used light)
2 heads garlic roasted with 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Add onions, tomatoes, olives. To roast garlic, slice ends off two heads of garlic. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. When done scrape garlic out of cloves and whisk into dressing ingredients. Add dressing to pasta and toss. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bacon and Cheddar Scones

These scones are pretty good. I think the onion is somewhat overpowering, I might would cut down on that. I think some chopped green chilies might be good too. Not a bad treat for breakfast though.


3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter cut into pieces
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 to 4 green onions chopped
1-1/2 cups buttermilk

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in butter until flour resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheese, bacon, and onions. Add buttermilk. Turn onto a floured board and shape into a circle. Place circle on baking sheet (I covered mine with parchment paper). Score circle into 8 pieces. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Heavenly Surprise Cupcakes

This recipe is from the Taste of Home Cookbook. I made these with just a basic cream cheese frosting.

2 eggs
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt


2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to egg mixture. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Cool completely.

For frosting, in a large mixing bowl cream the shortening, butter, and sugar. Stir in milk, water, and vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or resealable plastic bag. Insert a small star tip. Fill bag with frosting.

Push tip 1 inch into center of cupcakes and fill with frosting just until the frosting comes to the top. Frost remainder of cupcake. Add sprinkles if desired. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.