Friday, May 21, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

It was my husband's birthday yesterday. So I decided to try this German Chocolate Cake recipe that my friend Jen recommended. I was a little nervous when the cake was finished baking because it wasn't as sweet as store bought cake mix, but after I added the icing the combination is delicious. It was my husband's 33rd birthday, but he didn't want that many candles on the cake so I thought that three candles was a nice compromise. One for my husband and one for each of the girls who wanted to blow out candles, too.

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 2 9 inch cake pans by greasing and flouring lightly.

3c flour
2c sugar
2t baking soda
1t salt
1/2c cocoa
3/4c canola oil
1t vanilla
2T vinegar
2c water

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Mix sugar, canola oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water together in another bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the mix evenly between your two pans and bake for about 30 minutes.

German Chocolate Icing

1c soy milk (I used regular milk because that's what I had in the fridge.)
1/3c coconut milk
1 1/4c sugar
1t vanilla
1/3c cornstarch mixed with 1/4c water until smooth
2 1/2c sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2c chopped pecans

In a saucepan, mix the soymilk, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Cook for 1 min after it boils. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. Allow this to cool 10 mins before spreading. The mixture should still be warm as you are icing the cake.

This makes for a 2 layer 9 inch cake.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicken Adobo

This is my husband's favorite dish. I've had this recipe the whole time we've been married, but I was always intimidated by the recipe and by how great it tastes whenever my mother made it. (In the interest of being completely honest, I also have no idea how to cut up a chicken so I'd put the recipe back in the box.) After about five years of marriage, I finally made this recipe. My husband loved it and instantly accused me of holding out on him. He still teases me about all the terrible stuff I cooked when we were first married when I had this amazing recipe hiding in my recipe box.

1 clove garlic, minced
4 whole black peppers
3-4 bay leaves
1/2c red wine vinegar
1/2c soy sauce
1c water

salt and pepper
seasoned salt
seasoned pepper
1 chicken (washed and cut up)

Put the garlic, whole black peppers, bay leaves, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, and water in a pot. Season each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, seasoned pepper, and paprika and place in pot. Cover pot and boil on med high for 30 minutes. Turn down heat to med low and boil for 30 minutes longer. Turn off heat and let chicken set in juice to really let the seasoning take effect. Reheat and serve over rice.

I love, love, love this recipe. Here's how I know it's a great dish. First, my husband accused me of holding out on him. That's a sincere compliment from a man who always told me dinner was good...even when I thought it was nasty. Second, when I make this recipe for dinner parties, my friends always go back for seconds.

In the crockpot: Season the chicken and place in the pot. Add garlic, black peppers, red wine vinegar, soysauce, and water. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice. The liquid doesn't completely cover the chicken. That's okay! It isn't supposed to.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I found this recipe just in time for the Super Bowl last year...and let me tell you that it is the yummiest dip I think I've ever tasted. It's super easy to make and your friends will be impressed!

1 8oz block of cream cheese
½ cup bleu cheese dressing
1 cup (or more) of finely chopped cooked chicken
¼ - ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (what’s your heat tolerance?)
(I used the Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce and it was just as awesome)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Cheddar Cheese

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (for topping)

Heat the block of cream cheese and bleu cheese dressing in microwave for about one minute or, until the mixture is easy to stir. Add in the chicken, hot sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and salt/pepper. Blend together ingredients.

Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. I like to use a larger dish (or spilt into two smaller dishes) and have a thinner spread of the dip. Top with the grated cheddar cheese and place in oven. Bake at 350°F (180°C) until the cheddar topping is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately. The original recipe tells you to use Frito Scoop! Corn Chips, but we prefer the Tostitos chips. Also, if you want to pretend that celery sticks will make this more healthy, then, by all means, knock yourself out.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Citrus Chicken

When I was in Basic Training, I loved to listen my battle buddy talk about food. She had been a professional chef before enlisting and she talked about food the way other women talk about a lover. Last night I was talking to my sister, describing this recipe and I realized that I was starting to sound a lot like my battle buddy. So let me just say, "Rebekah, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

I really like this recipe because it is very simple. It has a simple flavor that isn't over whelming. It's a really healthy recipe without any heavy, gooey sauce that blows your calorie count for the day. Here's what you need:

1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime
3 or 4 chicken breasts
Pam cooking spray

Spray a casserole dish with Pam. Zest the outside of the orange, lemon, and lime. You only need a teaspoon or two of the zest. Slice up half of the orange, lemon, and lime and lay the slices in the bottom of your dish. Lay your chicken breasts on the citrus slices. Sprinkle your zest on top of your chicken then squeeze the left over lemon, lime, and orange over your chicken. Last night, my youngest called dibs on the left over orange so I only squeezed lemon and lime juice on the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until done.