Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sloppy Joes

I saw Pioneer Woman at the Kentucky Proud Food Show on Saturday in Rupp Arena!  It was awesome.


She's so...normal.  And that's why she's been so successful.  She's a normal mom that makes really good food for her really large family.  And she lives on the largest cattle ranch in Oklahoma.


It was so fun to see her in person!  She didn't make these sloppy joes on Saturday but she did make her Pots de Creme (which I will be trying in the near future!).

But these sloppy joes were on my mind since I just saw her on Saturday. And this is basically her recipe, so I thought I'd share it with you.


Just brown some ground beef (sometimes I use half ground turkey, half ground chuck) with onions and green pepper (I used bell peppers from my dad's garden), add a whole bunch of spices and ketsup and let it simmer.

And by all means, serve it on slider buns with yellow mustard and pickles.  And if you're my kid, you get cantaloupe and green beans to go with it.


Deliciously yummy.  Here ya go.

Sloppy Joes (PW Style)
Adapted from Pioneer Woman

2 lbs ground chuck (can also use 1/2 ground turkey and half ground chuck)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketsup
2 T tomato paste
1 cup water
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
A few dashes of hot sauce (I go easy so my kids will eat it!)
1 T dijon mustard
1 T chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add the chuck, onion and bell pepper to a large pan and cook, stirring it to break up the beef.  Drain the fat.  Add the garlic and remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Serve on buns.  This freezes really well and the leftovers are even better the second time around.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chocolate Sheet Cake

This is a recipe from my childhood.  This chocolate sheet cake was my birthday cake every year.  And I do mean every year. I love it.


Lots of people have this recipe (or a version of it), but this is really the best version out there.  It combines butter and oil for the best flavor/moistness combo.


It's seriously the most moist delicious chocolate cake I've ever had.


One more thing: leftovers in the morning with coffee.  Awesome.


Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
4 T cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Icing:
1 stick butter
3 T cocoa powder
5 T milk
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.

In a pot on medium heat, bring to a boil the butter, 4 T cocoa powder, water and oil.  Whisk to combine.  As soon as it boils, pour it into the flour/sugar mixture and combine slightly - don't completely incorporate it but just enough so that the mixture is just warm (not hot).

Add the soda, buttermilk, eggs & vanilla and mix completely.

Pour onto a greased 10x15 cookie sheet/baking pan) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until just set in the middle.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should have just a few crumbs sticking to it.

While the cake bakes, make the icing.  In a pot over medium heat, bring to a boil the butter, cocoa & milk.  As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat with a hand mixer or a whisk until it is smooth.

When the cake comes out of the oven, cool for just a couple of minutes before adding the icing.  The icing will set up and harden slightly as it cools.  Cool completely and serve!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bakery Blueberry Muffins

Hands down, these are some of the best blueberry muffins I've ever eaten.  Moist does not even begin to describe these babies.  They're dense and moist and really more like cake.


Cake for breakfast!  I'm all about it.


Frozen blueberries work fabulously in these muffins.  The only thing you should NOT do is overmix the batter.  And don't overbake them.


You know. The usual.

They're just really good.  I think it's the sour cream.  It makes the batter super-thick and just amazing.  You'll think you went to a bakery for these.

Bakery Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Kelsey Nixon

1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Juice & zest of one lemon
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Whisk together the oil, sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon zest & juice, lemon extract & vanilla extract.  Use a spatula and fold in the remaining ingredients.  Don't overmix the batter.

Spray a 6-count muffin tin with nonstick baking spray.  Use a large ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into the muffin tin.  The muffins will be very full.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until just set (the tops should spring back when you press lightly).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

It's been so long since I've been on here that I'm not even sure where to begin!  The last recipe I posted was a strawberry cake.  And this...well, this is a Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  I made it for my oldest's birthday!  Three months ago.


Once again, where is my life going.


I have a few random pictures of this cake, but the point is that it's really yummy.  And you can't use too many strawberries.  It's inspired by a Paula Deen recipe, but I tripled the amount of strawberries she called for.


Telling you what.  Can't use too many strawberries.  Especially when they're in season.


Oh!  And did you want to see Bitty?  She's almost two months old, y'all.  Oh the sweetness.


Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Inspired by Paula Deen

1/2 of a homemade poundcake (I used a basic recipe), sliced thin
3 lbs. strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 large box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz. container Cool Whip

Whisk together the pudding mix and milk.  Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla.  Use a spatula to fold in the Cool Whip.

Place a layer of poundcake on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Evenly layer strawberries on top.  Spread about half of the Cool Whip mixture on top.  Repeat the layers, ending with the Cool Whip mixture.  Cover and place in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake

A month ago today I birthed this real, live Bitty Baby.


How has it been a month already???  Where is my life going.  While we opted not to find out the gender of our baby, we were all sure she was a boy.  So we didn't try too hard to come up with a girl's name.  Until Levi came out a girl.  It took us a little while to decide on a name - not just any name, but the right name.  The perfect name.


She is an amazing, precious part of our family, and we are so thankful!  All of us...and her big brother is especially pleased with her, in case you couldn't tell.


And so now we have fresh strawberry cake.  Because it's strawberry season, and this mama still bakes occasionally.  One hand measures ingredients and the other hand snuggles this baby girl.  Miss Sarah Kate is not fond of being anywhere except in my arms.  And I'm pretty happy about that.


This recipe has been all over Pinterest so I made a few changes and came out with a really great base cake recipe. You could add anything in place of the strawberries - next time I'm definitely going down the blueberry route.


My big girls are quite happy with their "New Baby" too.


Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake

Adapted from A Spicy Perspective 

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced (could also substitute 1 1/2 cups blueberries)

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T)

Cream together the butter, oil and sugar in a mixer until combined and fluffy.  Add the eggs and combine well.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon extract and sour cream and mix until combined.  Add 2 1/4 cups of flour, soda & salt and mix until just combined.  Toss the remaining 2 T flour with the chopped strawberries and fold them into the batter.

Pour into a well-greased bundt cake and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs sticking to it.  Let cool in the bundt pan for about 15 minutes.

Turn the cake out onto a cake stand and let it cool to room temperature.  Meanwhile, whisk together the glaze ingredients.  When the cake has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it fall down the sides.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cherry Turnovers

I made these turnovers sometime during the throes of winter.  You know, the winter that never ended.

The winter that dumped snow on us in April.


The winter that made me so thankful for SPRING!

Yeah, then. Turnovers just seemed like the right thing to do on a cold, dark night after supper.


My kids loved them.  Did I even need to tell you that.

I got the idea from the cherry turnovers my mom used to make for me and my brother.  Back in the day.


We loved them then.  Probably didn't need to tell you that either.

They're ridiculously easy and totally delicious.  Not really even a recipe.  But it is a bite of my childhood.  And now my adulthood.  And my children's childhood.

I love generational blessings.  And yes, I consider even cherry turnovers a generational blessing.

Cherry Turnovers

2 8 oz. packages Crescent rolls
21 oz. can cherry pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla (or almond extract is delish too!)

Unroll the crescent rolls and divide them into the triangles.  Lay on a sheet tray and evenly divide the pie filling on the widest part of the triangle.  Fold the smaller end of the triangle over on top of the pie filling.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 17-18 minutes until puffed and golden.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract.  Drizzle on top of the hot turnovers.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spinach & Artichoke Breakfast Casserole

I've made this casserole twice recently and people have asked me for the recipe both times!


I absolutely love egg dishes with cheese and veggies.  Not all breakfast casseroles have to have meat in them, you know.  So I put spinach & artichokes in this one!  It's like spinach-artichoke dip baked into a breakfast casserole.


Even men love this one.

Spinach & Artichoke Breakfast Casserole

2 T butter
1 onion, chopped very small
12 eggs
1/4 cup flour
16 oz. container small-curd cottage cheese
15 oz. can artichokes hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
10-12 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 lb. shredded Swiss Cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Saute the onion and butter in a skillet for about 10 minutes, until pretty soft.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Beat the eggs together with the flour and cottage cheese in a large bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and the cooled onions.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, until just set.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Snickerdoodles

I made these for my brother because a couple of years ago, after knowing my brother for all 30-ish years of my life, he announced that Snickerdoodles are his favorite cookie.


It was one of the most random things I had ever heard him say.

Snickerdoodles?  I mean, whose favorite cookie is that, anyway?


My brother's.  Apparently.

This was news to me.  But good news, since I like Snickerdoodles.  They're fun to say and super yummy to eat.

So I made these for a family gathering at my aunt's house.  I took a plate piled high of Snickerdoodles.  I waved them under my brother's nose and then sat them on the dessert table.


Nearly immediately, the plate of freshly baked cookies were totally demolished.  My brother got approximately one cookie + a stray crumb out of the entire mound of cookies I took.  That's all that was left.

You can't dawdle in our family.  If you want something, you'd better grab it.


Otherwise it's gone.

But, of the one cookie + stray crumb he got to sample, my brother said these were the best Snickerdoodles he'd ever had and that I should blog the recipe.


That's a high compliment.  And that's why I'm blogging this recipe.

Snickerdoodles
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
Heaping 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon

Cream together the butter and sugar for several minutes in a mixer until creamy and totally combined.  Add the eggs and combine.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir (mixer on low) until just combined.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.

Combine the cinnamon & sugar in a bowl.  Use a cookie scoop to make cookie dough balls and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Place on a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment paper) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.  Do not overbake!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup

I know I've told you about the Greentree Tea Room.  It's a wonderful Lexington gem.

Lexington has lots of gems, you know.  But this post is about Greentree.  And its amazing soups.


See, when you go to Greentree, they serve one menu for the entire month.  It changes every month.  And every month is equally unique and delicious.

They always start you out with a bowl of soup.  I've had about six of their soups (meaning I've eaten there six different months of the year) and I've loved every single one of them.

The second course is a scone served with some type of fruit curd (April was blueberry curd…there are no words) and Fayette Cream.

You'll just have to make your own reservation at Greentree to find out what Fayette Cream is.

So the last time I had the pleasure of lunching at the Greentree, they sat this bowl of creamy spring vegetable soup in front of me.


It. Was. Divine.

So I came home and tried to make it.  It went pretty well, I'd say.  My family actually loved it.  They've never actually been to the Greentree (my husband wouldn't set foot in the place…totally a girl spot…and my kids are entirely too young.  I go there to get away from my children).  So my family has never had the real thing, but they did love my copycat version.

I was happy with it.  And I'm already planning when I can return to the tea room.  May's a new month with a new menu!  Fortunately, every menu has Fayette Cream on it.

Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup
Copycat recipe from the Greentree Tea Room

3 T butter
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, small-diced
3 T flour
1/2 cup rice
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 cup hari coverts, chopped into bite-sized pieces (tiny green beans; I used Trader Joe's from the freezer)
1 cup corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 cup petite peas (I used frozen)
1 cup heavy cream

Saute the onions and carrots in the butter in a medium pot over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, until tender.  Sprinkle in the flour and rice and stir around for about a minute.  Add the stock, salt, pepper and turmeric and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the rice is tender.  Add the hari coverts, corn and peas and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add cream.  Stir well and serve immediately.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Creamy Spinach & Orzo

I made this the other night as a side dish with some salmon...it was awesome.


I just love orzo, and I had some spinach I needed to use.

The creamy combo was just delicious!


Creamy Spinach & Orzo

1 T butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T flour
1 cup milk
5 oz. package spinach, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 cups cooked orzo (about 1 cup uncooked)
3/4 cup romano cheese (or parmesan)

Saute the onion in the butter for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Stir in the flour.  Add the milk and spinach and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Serve immediately.