Thursday, August 27, 2009

Paula Deen's Spicy Cinnamon Cake

I was sitting around last Saturday watching food network, like usual, and saw Paula Deen making this cake. It looked great, so I tried it Tuesday night. I'm not a huge fan of spice cake, but this was probably one of the better ones I've eaten. The best part was the cinnamon, sugar, pecan combination for the topping and a layer in between. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it so you'll have to use your imagination :)

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Cinnamon Cake
1 (18oz) package spice cake mix
1 (4 serving) package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup corn oil
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used more, probably a cup total)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a bundt pan. Combine cake mix, instant pudding, sour cream, eggs, and corn oil and beat together well. In a seperate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with sugar mixture, reserving a little to sprinkle on top. Pour the rest of the batter into pan and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar mixture. Bake 1 hour. Let cool and remove from pan.

As always, the cooking time depends on your oven. I check mine about 15 minutes before they say to, and I usually end up cooking a little shy of the temperature they say.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lazy Bum...

I'm being a bum this week and skipping Tuesdays With Dorie. I didn't have it in me to fight with Meringue. I am however, going to make some crazy spice cake from Paula Deen tonight. I'll post back later with details if it's good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Applesauce Spice Bars

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was her Applesauce Spice bars. At first, the name kinda grossed me out. I don't know why, I love applesauce and I love spice, but I just couldn't get over the picture...mostly because it has this thick glaze all over the top and I'm not much of a glaze/frosting fan. I'm weird. I accept it.

(its amazing how hard it is to take a picture of something small and brownish in my kitchen...anyway, you get the idea)

Anyway! I decided to make them regardless of the picture, and man I'm glad. These bars were super. They weren't very hold-in-your-hand friendly, but that's OK. It felt like cake. I love cake. Lets just say they were so awesome we ate all but a fourth of the 9x13, and the rest was finished the next morning...Yum!

On to my changes! The first major one was I didn't glaze. I know I know. The second, I forgot the nuts, which makes me sad because I love nuts. And the third, I didn't have allspice so I used pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and a little ginger. As you can tell, I have no clue whats in allspice, but it worked out very well if I do say so myself.

If you want the recipe, head over to Something Sweet by Karen or buy the book and turn to page 117.

My brother in law wanted to show you how good these were...we think this picture captures it pretty well :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brownie Buttons!

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was Dorie's Brownie Buttons, picked by Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen. These were great! Possibly in the top 5 brownies I've ever eaten. I like to have brownies for a couple of days when I make them, that way I can pick at them when I go into the kitchen for no specific reason at all. But these, there just wasn't enough! I mean, when you only make 20 mini-muffin sized brownies, they don't last multiple days. How sad.

I didn't go with the white chocolate topping, and I also didn't use the orange zest. I only baked mine for about 12 minutes, which ensured that they were just a hint undone but it felt like fudgy goodness at the top which was perfect.

If you want the recipe, head on over to Jayma's blog Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen. Or buy the book Baking: From My Home To Yours and turn to pages 106-107.

And yes, I like to make a big K with random food, and then eat the slightly off colored ones after I snap the picture.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chicken Subs

So I found myself in Publix the other day and chicken breast was on sale. Yay! I bought some but then got home and thought what should I cook with these? The answer? Awesome chicken subs. I got the idea a while back from Rachael Ray but her recipe has a lot of stuff I don't like in it. I'm a picky eater, what can I say. This recipe isn't really exact, as I kinda made it up while I was cooking. But its totally wing-able. Here's the idea behind it, you can decide the quantity used.

-3 chicken breasts, pounded to be a little flatter than they normally are. Cut into strips or bite size pieces.
-1 marinated roasted red pepper. Diced.
-grill seasoning, I like McCormick Montreal. About a tablespoon.
-Italian seasoning, about a tablespoon
-1 6oz can tomato sauce, I used the kind that had basil and oregano
-1 small package of shredded cheese, I used Italian blend and cheddar
-1 banana pepper. Mainly because we grew one and didn't want it to go to waste.
-4 sub rolls

1. Put 4 sub rolls on a baking sheet and toast a few minutes in the oven at about 325 degrees. Remove from oven when they are slightly toasted.
2. After all of your chicken and peppers are diced up, heat a skillet with a small amount of olive oil. Add chicken and peppers and season with grill seasoning and Italian seasoning. Saute until chicken is done. If there is too much liquid, drain. Add tomato sauce and heat through.

(That picture is before I added the tomato sauce. I had to drain, I added a bit too much olive oil.)
3. When sauce and chicken are heated, spoon mixture onto each of the sub rolls. Cover with cheese of your choice (and maybe some garlic salt on top, I like it). Bake for 5 min or until cheese is nice and melted.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My First Tuesdays with Dorie

I really love bundt pans.

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie pick was Dorie's Classic Banana Bundt Cake chosen by Mary at The Food Librarian.

I made this about a week ago and took it to work and lets just say we were washing the pan before lunch. It was super moist and easy to make. If you like banana bread, you'll love this cake. This was my first baking experience from Baking: From My Home to Yours, and I can tell me and this book are going to be friends for quite a while.

The recipe can be found on pg. 190 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or on Mary's blog. The only thing I changed was I added a few pecans to the pan before I put the batter in. Next time, I think I would add some chopped pecans throughout the batter. Banana bread/cake is always better with a few nuts.


I first made these cookies about a month ago thinking that I only kinda liked them and just wanted to make them because their name is so darn fun to say. Well, now I love them and want to make them because they're awesome. They're perfect because they are easy, cheap, and you get to roll dough in cinnamon sugar. What more can you ask for out of a cookie?

The recipe I use is from Martha Stewart, though I'm sure most snickerdoodle recipes are close to the same. I increase the amount of sugar to 4 tablespoons and cinnamon to 4 teaspoons because it never seems like enough.

From Martha Stewart Cookies:

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen (or 40 cookies, whatever)
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups plus 3 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.
2.Stir together cinnamon and remaining tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into small balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
3.Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Awesome Brownies

So yesterday I was bored and decided what better way to spend my day than making brownies...It was a great day. These brownies weren't very thick, only about an inch or so, but they were super good. I suppose Martha really does know what she's doing. They were really easy to make, and didn't dirty up too many dishes. The only problem I had with them was that it only made a 8" pan, and that's just not enough! I think they might have been even better with nuts, but that's just my preference.
On to the recipe. This comes from Martha Stewart's book Cookies.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Yield: 9-16 brownies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2 inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang).
2.Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate have melted. Let cool slightly.
3.Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined.
4.Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

I didn't use parchment paper, I just used cooking spray. And I may have used a 9" pan, it was the only square one I had handy. I let mine cool completely in the pan and it was fine and I had no trouble getting them out. The whole thing is very forgiving. Give it a shot and enjoy!

Oh yeah, and my picture stinks but I figure its a brownie, you know what it looks like anyway!