Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apple Cake with Butterscotch Sauce

This has to be one of my favorite dessert recipes (o.k., I'm lying I LOVE all my dessert recipes- I could never choose just one. I have a sweet tooth if you can't tell) Anyways, this is SOOOO good and my kids love it. What kid doesn't like butterscotch sauce and whipped cream, even if it's on cardboard. Luckily, this cake if to die for and you'll talk yourself into a piece for breakfast because it's almost like a sweet bread. So, I'll stop babbling and just give you the recipe.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 cup chopped apples ( this is the point that I altered this recipe, I decided that I like to use the cheese grater to grate the apples rather than chop them- much faster and my kids like it a lot better whent he chunks of apples aren't very noticeable. I use about 3 large apples- Gala is usually what I have on hand, but use your favorite)

Butterscotch Sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Combine dry ingredients together and gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well (batter will be stiff). Add grated or chopped apples until well combined. Spread into a greased or sprayed 9x13 baking pan and cook for 40-45 min. at 350.

In a sauce pan combine the brown supgar and butter. cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Gradually stir in cream and bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Remover from heat, serve with the cake (I like to cool it off a while so it's a little thicker). It's really good if the cake is slightly warm. Top with whipped cream. YUMMMMY!!!!

I like to double the sauce recipe because everyone likes LOTS of sauce on their cake and then there is plenty to go around.

Italian Rice

I love rice as a sidedish but sometimes we get tired of Lemon Rice Pilaf (sorry mom, we love that recipe too, it's posted among the side dishes). I came across this recipe a few years ago and we LOVE it too.
1 3/4 cup Chicken broth (I usually never have broth on hand but I always have the chicken boullion granules- use 1 3/4 cup water and 2 tsp granules)
3/4 cup long grain rice, uncooked
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (the seasoning that is a combination of oregano, basil, thyme, etc)
1 cup Fresh spinach, chopped fine. (last time I made this I didn't have any fresh spinach because they were out in the store so I use frozen spinach- it still turned out fine but I sorted through it because the frozen kind usually has a lot of stems in it. If you use frozen, I would only use about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (from the can)
Add broth, rice, Ital. Seasoning, and spinach to a saucepan. Let it come to a boil and boil for 10 min. Cover and remove from the stove and let it sit until the rice is done (~ 15-20 more minutes). Add the Parmesan cheese and stir in. This recipe is really easy to double. It's a great sidedish for chicken or fish and is good enough to serve to company.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beef & Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

MMMMM.... Yummy!!! That's all I can say about these shells! And my kids like them too. Add a green salad and garlic bread or rolls and it's a great meal, even for company!!

24 Jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (28-32 oz)
1/4 cup water
1 8 oz container chive & onion cream cheese
1 bag (2 cups) Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
Italian seasoning sprinkled on top

Cook ground beef and drain of grease. Pour 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 pan bottom. Add the water to the rest of the spaghetti sauce and save for the top of the shells. Mix together the cream cheese, ground beef, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of mixture into each cooked shell and place in pan on top of sauce. Pour the rest of the spaghetti sauce/water mixture over all of the stuffed shells. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle with Italtian seasoning. Cover with tinfoil and Cook at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Easy to Freeze:
Freeze in an aluminum pan. Cool before placing in the freezer. Thaw before cooking- or if still frozen- double cooking time (that tends to toughen the shells that aren't in the sauce so it's better to cook after it thaws- however, I've done it this way and it still tastes great- just a few tough edges).

Sun Dried Pasta Bows

This is a great Pasta recipe that has been made into a LOWER FAT version. Just perfect for January, seeing that most people try to diet in the month of January so I though I'd post this one. My kids love this one, first because the pasta is shaped like bows and second because they love olives.

1 Box Pasta Bows (Walmart Brand- I'm not sure how many ounces the box is)
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 cup boiling water (I just steal some from the pot of boiling water for the pasta)
1 chopped shallot (if you don't know what a shallot is- it's like an onion, but way smaller and pink. You can get them near the onions and garlic, they usually come in a net package with 3 or 4 together)
2 small cloves or 1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2-3 TBSP sliced olives
(about 1 small can- depends how much you like olives)
2 TBSP prepared pesto (you can get this in a jar near the tomato sauces and alfredo sauces. You'll wonder what to do with a whole jar, but pesto is great on sandwiches and even better on the Alfredo chicken pizza)
1/4 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
3 tsp flour
1 cup fat-free half-n-half
3 cooked chicken breast
, sliced thin
shredded Parmesan cheese
toasted pine nuts (optional)

Cook past according to direction on package. In a small bowl, combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes; cover and let stand 5 minutes. In a large skillet, cook shallot and garlic in oil until shallot is translucent. Stir in broth, olives, pesto, pepper and salt to taste one minute longer. Combine flour and half-n-half until smoth, stir into pan. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

Drain pasta and tomatoes; add to creamy mixture. Stir in Chicken; heat through. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and pine nuts.