Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I went a little Shortcake crazy the other day...and it was so much fun!! I decided it was time to reinvent the standard shortcake and make it more fun, more creative and even simpler. Once I started, I really couldn't stop. This would be such a fun party idea...you could have a Shortcake Bar where people make their own for dessert. I'm very proud of myself...this method will delight you all summer long.
This is your basic recipe. The Strawberry Shortcake, of course! I'm going to give you the recipe for the original shortcakes and then some tweaks and twists below (the last one was my very favorite!). This is kind of grown-up twist on a classic...a little bit more sophisticated version (but my kiddos loved them all!).
1 can of Pillsbury Grands biscuits (go ahead and buy two cans...you'll want more!)
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 splash of milk
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Combine your sugar and cinnamon in a bowl until combined. Dip each unbaked biscuit in the sugar mixture until covered in sugar and cinnamon all the way around and place them on a baking sheet.
Bake about 10 minutes or until biscuits are brown and done to your liking. Use this method for all of the recipes below.
To make the base cream recipe, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk with an electric mixer until combined. Add more powdered sugar if your cream isn't thick enough. You can also add more powdered sugar if your cream isn't sweet enough.
Split each biscuit in half and top with cream and sliced strawberries. Or...try one of these variations below...
Make the cream as above but also beat in 1/4 cup of Nutella. Top with strawberries.
Make the cream as above but add in one cup of sweetened flaked coconut to the cream after it's incorporated. Top with an additional sprinkle of coconut.
Nutella & Coconut Shortcakes
Make the Nutella cream as above but stir in one cup of sweetened flaked coconut to the cream and then garnish with some additional coconut.
Make the cream as above but stir in one cup of chocolate chips into the cream after it's incorporated. Then top each biscuit with mini-marshmallows and crumbled up pieces of graham cracker.
So fun, right? The perfect party food!
1. Make your biscuits.
2. Make your base cream.
3. Add in Nutella (or hey...add in peanut butter or plain chocolate cocoa too!)
4. Stir in your add-ons (you could also stir in M&Ms, dry cranberries, nuts, ect.)
5. Garnish the tops
Enjoy your Shortcakes!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I make a lot of tostadas at my house. They're just so easy. I put the meat in the slow cooker, come home and assemble a few ingredients and voila...dinner is served. I also feel like you don't need much else to go along with it...maybe some sliced fruit or grilled corn. It's just simple...and in June, I need simple.
1 (2-3 pound) brisket
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper
6 tablespoons Chili powder
1 (2 liter) bottle of Root Beer (or several cans)
2 limes, quartered
Caramelized onions, Tab's Guacamole, salsa and/or Monterey Jack Cheese to garnish
Preheat a heavy pot with EVOO over medium-high heat. Rub your brisket down with generous amounts of salt, pepper and chili powder. Brown each side in skillet 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker (fat side up...I'll explain later!) and pour in enough Root Beer to cover the brisket. Cover and cook on low all day (7-8 hours) or on high 3-4 hours.
About 20 minutes before you're ready to eat, remove brisket on to a cutting board and cover with foil. (This will allow the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute and keep it moist.) Disregard the liquid in the slow cooker. Slice and shred brisket and serve over tostada shells with a variety of toppings (we love caramelized onions, guacamole, salsa and Monterey Jack cheese) and squeeze one or two wedges of lime over each one.
So simple and so delicious! The Root Beer just gives the brisket an added boost and really pairs nicely with the chili powder. You'll make this recipe over and over again.
Ok...the fat side up thing...when you cook a brisket with the fat side up, during the cooking process, the fat will keep the meat moist and super flavorful if it's on the top and the lean part is on the bottom. Just a little tip for you :).
Sunday, June 16, 2013
I love Hawaii. I love the sand. I love the smell. I love the people. I love the the music. I love everything about it. I couldn't close out my cakes without one bundt cake in honor of Hawaii. Even if you can't go to the islands, you can eat a cake that brings the island flavors to you. Aloha.
1 box of coconut cake mix
2 small boxes of instant coconut pudding (use vanilla if you can't find it)
1/2 cup of veggie oil
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple (reserve the juice!), divided
1 cup pineapple juice from your canned pineapple
1/4 cup water (or more pineapple juice if your can has any left)
1 can store bought cream cheese frosting
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut, divided
Maraschino cherries to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease (I use Pam) a 10 inch bundt pan
In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, puddings, oil, pineapple juice, water and eggs with electric mixer. Stir in 1 cup of your crushed pineapple and one cup of your coconut. Pour into prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cake rest on counter in pan 10 minutes. Then, invert cake onto serving plate to finish cooling.
Stir remaining one cup of coconut into your store bought frosting and frost cooled cake. Top cake with cherries.
This cake will make you feel like you're on vacation. The perfect tribute to summer and Hawaii.
And just for grins...here the three of us are when we took Kensington to Hawaii at 7 months old. So much fun!
Happy Father's Day to my sweet husband and my wonderful dad! I am so blessed to have both of you in my life. Love you!
Friday, June 14, 2013
I'm using my slow cooker in the middle of summer?!?! Yes! I am. Thank goodness!
I knew it was going to be one of those days where we were running around like crazy people...gym, swim lessons, gymnastics...all on one day (which doesn't happen often in our house...but once in a while, it happens). I wanted something that would be waiting on me when we arrived home. I wanted chicken with a side salad...but not boring chicken. I wanted chicken I could get excited about. So...I opened my Six Sisters Stuff Cookbook (one of my faves!) and found their recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was simple and delicious (and a nice change up from something off the grill). Thank you sisters! You made my family very happy (and this busy mama less stressed).
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 ounces sliced ham (use a good quality ham!)
4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
1 (8 oz) package dry stuffing mix (I used Stove Top)
1/4 cup butter, melted
In a small bowl, combine soup and milk. Pour enough of the soup into the slow cooker to cover the bottom. Layer chicken breasts over sauce. Cover each breast with a slice of ham and then a slice of Swiss cheese. Slowly pour the rest of the soup mixture down on top of your chicken. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top of everything and drizzle butter down over stuffing. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or on high 2 to 3 hours.
I served mine with a green salad and it was delicious!
If you haven't checked out the Six Sisters Stuff Cookbook, you really should. It's wonderful!
And you know what else is wonderful? Having a quick chicken dinner on a hot summer night.