Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I make a lot of cakes for birthdays and I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe that I usually use, mostly because it is firm enough to stack and create fun cakes with, but sometimes I get tired of chocolate cake for everything. I have not found a white cake that is anything but blaaaa, so I have been on the hunt for another kind of cake that is firm but still delicious in a different flavor than chocolate. I think I found it! This cake is amazing! Flavor and texture and healthiness. OK I am not sure on exactly how healthy this cake is but it makes me feel better eating it with all the vegetables and fruit in it. I used this for a baby shower cake that I stacked and decorated and it turned out great! I did a test run BEFORE the shower and had a few people tell me if they liked it or not. So I took their thoughts and applied them to my cakes and it worked.  My husband was even bummed that he was not invited to the baby shower. It tasted great and so this cake recipe is going into my recipe book of Favorites.

Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (I used White Flour)
  • 1-¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cups Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Freshly Grated Nutmeg, Or More To To Taste (optional)
  • 1 pinch Ginger (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups Grated (unpeeled) Zucchini (Or you can use shredded Carrots instead or you can use 1 cup zucchini and 1 cup carrots)
  • 1 can (20 Oz. Size) Crushed Pineapple In Juice, Drained (Reserve Juice In Case You Need It For The Cake Batter Or The Frosting)
 Preheat oven to 350°F.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
 Combine flours, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
 Combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated zucchini, and pineapple into the flour mixture. Batter will be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. If it still seems too dry, just add a little splash of the pineapple juice.
 Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for about 33–35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes : If your zucchini are huge, scrape the seeds out of the center before you shred it so it’s not too watery. Also, I spread it all out on layers of paper towel to drain it and dry it off a bit. I squeezed most of the juice out of mine by hand. Then I measure out 2 cups.  Nuts can also be added to the cake batter if desired.

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1 package (8 Oz. Size) Low-fat Cream Cheese, Softened (You Can Use Full-fat Cream Cheese)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar, More Or Less As Needed
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • Splash Of Milk Or Pineapple Juice, If Necessary
  • Chopped Walnuts Or Pecans (optional)
 To prepare frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Add a splash of milk or pineapple juice if necessary. Spread frosting over top of cake. You can garnish with chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired. This recipe makes a very generous amount of frosting.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Texas Road House Rolls

OK It has been a few years since I have been to Texas Road House, but I still know the reason why many of us go there.... for the rolls. They are hot, fluffy, melt in you mouth with a hint of honey, when you take a bite Last night for dinner we had over a group of Texas guys that are here helping rebuild a house that was destroyed last year in the flood. We had my Pecan Crusted Salmon, Keith made some Puerto Rican rice with beans, and I tried these rolls. I was afraid I messed up the recipe at first but they turned out GREAT and everyone loved them! My only addition to the recipe would be instead of just spreading butter on top make a mixture of honey butter and you have a roll pretty close to the famous Texas Road House ones! I will be making these again! Oh and you want to make sure these have time to rise. I was a bit rushed last night and didn't give them the full time to rise. If I would have I think they would have been even MORE fluffy and delicious. I also halved the recipe because my mixer can not handle 9 cups of flour with out struggling.

Texas Road House Rolls (48 rolls)
4 1/2 tsp yeast
2 1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup honey
6 TBSP butter melted
2 eggs
1 TBSP Kosher salt
8-9 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in milk. Add honey and disslove, then let it sit about 10 minutes till frothy.
Add butter, eggs and 4 cup flour. Mix till smooth. Add more flour to gather the dough together. Add salt and knead 7-9 minutes. (I used my mixer) Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise for about an hour till doubled. Spray cookie sheet with Pam. Turn dough out on to floured surface. Roll into a rectangle. About 1 inch thick. Cut in 48 pieces. Place on cookie sheet. Let rise till doubled about another hour. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Bake 12-15 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, spread butter on top. I suggest you make a butter honey mixture and top it. It would be delicious!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chick-fil-a Carrot Salad

I ABSOLUTELY HATE CARROTS! I will avoid them like the plague! I don't like them cooked or fresh! (Besides carrot cake which breaks the rules because it is cake)But besides in Cake I HATE CARROTS!  Growing up I actually believed I was allergic to carrots and often wondered why God would make such a discussing vegetable! But let me tell you a short story. My friend Shell made this salad one time and brought it to dinner one night. I cringed when she put it down on my counter.... carrots! I HATE carrots! But not wanting to be rude I took a microscopic bit of this carrot salad she brought. Taking a bite and thinking I would need to swallow it with a giant gulp of water, I was not prepare for the deliciousness of this salad! I got up and actually got seconds..... And thirds..... And actually I wanted to lick the bowl! This is NOT normal carrot salad. It must be magic because if you can make me want seconds of anything with that disgusting orange vegetable, it must be magic! Did I mention I hate carrots? Anyways, this recipe is amazing! I even did something I have never done before, I asked my husband to bring me a bag of carrots.... Yes I did! And then I made this salad. And then my boys and I ate the bowl of it! It tastes NOTHING like carrots! And if my dad was right about carrots being good for my eyes, then I have no problem eating my share of carrots in this salad. My eyes will be great! So contrary to my former belief that carrots would make my mouth shrivel up and die, I will admit that this and only this salad is the ONLY way  I will eat carrots!  Try it, you won't believe the yumminess of it. It might even change your whole life!!

Chick-fil-a Carrot Raisin Salad 
4 cups shredded carrots(make sure it is small shreds)
1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup raisins
Mix all together. ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Well today I tried a new recipe today and it was one of those iffy ones that I didn't really know how it would turn out. Well if an empty crockpot is any indication of how my family liked this, then I am adding this to the book of favorites! I was looking through recipes and saw this one that you put frozen chicken in for 6 hours. If you are like me, I always forget to get the frozen meat out the night before, so when I saw this was a from frozen to cooked, I'm going to try it. It turned out AWESOME!

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

2 chicken breast still frozen
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes(do not drain)
1 can corn(do not drain)
1can black beans(I used half because my boys don't like them much)
1 package ranch dressing powder
1TBSP cumin
1tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1pk(8on) cream cheese
Put chicken crock pot. Top with all ingredients except cream cheese. Mix well. Top with cream cheese. Cook on low 6-8 hours stirring during cooking. Shred chicken when done and add back to chili. Serve with rice or tortilla chips or taco shells. Serves 4

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nutella Cupcakes

Here is a fun and yummy recipe. I mean cupcakes and Nutella, how can you go wrong? Plus you don't need to icing these, unless you really want to. I love Nutella and this is one great way to enjoy it!

Nutella Cupcakes
1/4 cup butter at room temperature.
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Nutella at room temp.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a bowl beat butter, oil, and sugar with mixer till light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat till smooth.

In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat on low till all combined. Batter will be thick. It needs to be so you can swirl the nutella.

Divide Batter in 12 paper lined muffin cups. Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top and swirl through batter with a Knife or bamboo skewer. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let them cool.... then hide them because they will be gone soon!=)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken

I love rotisserie chicken! I love all the flavors, the crunchy skin and I love Stores that have them HOT and ready to go so you don't have to think of something for dinner. But living in the bush there are no stores that have them hot and ready to go and I don't have one of those cool Rotisserie Ovens either. But I found this recipe that says it is JUST like Rotisserie chicken except you cook it in the Crock Pot. So I saved it and save it and saved it. I never tried it. Mostly because Whole chickens are a little hard to come by here. Yes I could use grouse(a small bird) or Ptarmigan (another small bird) but since this winter we have not found many, this was not really an option. But thankfully the last time we were in town shopping, we bought a few whole chickens and brought them out. I kind of forgot we had them till I was re-arranging my freezer. So I pulled one out and planned to try this recipe. Keith was a little skeptical of my seasoning ability. He is usually the one who seasons any meat we are eating. He is also one of those people that don't need a recipe and everything they cook turns out yummy. Unlike me, who has to follow a recipe till I know it well enough to branch out on my own. So despite his weird look that I was going to season it, he let me. Then I prayed that I would not mess this up and that it would taste GREAT. If not my life as a seasoner would be finished! I know that is a lot of pressure on ones shoulders....hehehe. I just hoped my chicken would taste great and I would not have to admit that I can't season meat. But thankfully this recipe worked great! The chicken literally fell off the bone. It was actually really hard to get it out of the crock pot with out it falling to pieces. Though the skin was not crunchy when I took it out, I put it under the broiler to give it a nice crisp.

I am so glad this chicken turned out so yummy and my kids gobbled it up. Plus I set it up in the morning and had a long day at our local Spring Carnival with snow shoe races, ski races and dog sled races. And yes, to us in Galena, that is considered  Spring... anyways. After a long day, it was wonderful to come home to a cooked meat and all I had to do was make up the sides. So if you don't have one of those cool rotisserie cookers, you can make a delicious chicken in your Crock Pot! Try it! Easy and delicious! It is wonderful!

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken
1 whole chicken
2 TBSP paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix all spices in a small bowl. Add water by the teaspoonful to spices mix till there is a paste. Rub paste all over the chicken. Inside and out. I even did what my husband does and cut a few small slits into the breasts and rubbed spices in that too. That gives more flavor to each bite. Coat chicken well with paste. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place chicken in pot, breast side up. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.