Recipes For My Boys: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Chicks and Chalkboard Eggs

Since I have all this chalkboard paint, I am painting just about anything that I come in contact with.  This morning it was plastic Easter Eggs.  After they were painted, I decided to make a chick.  I was showing Lucas the chick and he had a brilliant idea to have it hidden in the egg.  I just love how smart my boys are!  <3<3<3  I then made the chick, stuffed it inside the egg and wrote, crack me on.  Write peep, peep or cheep, cheep instead.  How cute is that?!  You can go around the seam with more paint to seal it, so it really cracks open.

Thought Full Jar

We have so much to be thankful for. Yet, sometimes we just need a reminder. I made this jar, full of thoughtful words. When my boys need a gentle reminder...I guide them to the jar, they pick out a piece of paper and talk about it. <3

This was so easy to do. All you need is a jar with a lid. Chalkboard paint and a foam brush. Super easy! I painted other jars and even poster board with an outline to hang on the wall.

I bought the jar at Wal-Mart.  Each side has a square.  Just paint inside of the square and you have a customized chalkboard jar.  If you go outside of the square, just scratch the paint off.  I've washed them in the dishwasher and they do well.  Super easy!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whole Wheat Blueberry Mango Coffee Cake and Robin's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Before I started my blog last summer, I asked a few friends and family members, if they would share a recipe with me so I could write a cookbook for my boys.  Being an older parent, I wanted to leave something for my precious boys.   My Beautiful parents have both passed away and all I have are memories.  I wanted to share recipes, and memories, with my boys, of some of our friends and a few family members.  This is how my blog began....wanting to put a cookbook together.  Then wanting more than just recipes.  I wanted pictures and memories and crafts and memories and day trips and memories.....You get the idea.  ~smile~

This recipe is adapted from our sweet friend, Robin, her original recipe follows.  She is requested to make her Sour Cream Coffee Cake for her brother often.  Enjoy them both!  <3 and hugs!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Mango Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, 1 cup was a little too sweet for us, adjust to your taste
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, optional
3/4 cup mango nectar, I use Goya
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, or frozen, rinsed and drained well
Extra blueberries for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

Mango Glaze

2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar 
remaining mango nectar, around 1/2 cup

Directions for Blueberry Mango Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Grease 9"cake pan or bundt pan.   I used 9" cast iron skillet
Whisk together first 5 ingredients and set aside.
Cream eggs and sugar until fluffy.
Add vanilla extract, if using, and mango nectar.
Alternated dry ingredients and sour cream, ending with sour cream.
Gently fold in blueberries.

Gently fold blueberries into batter. I folded them in too gently and they were not distributed evenly throughout the coffee cake.

Put batter in greased pan.  Cook in preheated oven, 45-60 minutes depending on pan used.
After 25 minutes, turn pan around and cook another 15.
Check and cook additional time until lightly brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Mine cooked 48 minutes in cast iron skillet.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes and turn out until wire.

Turn out of pan and then flip over so it sits upright.

Directions for Mango Glaze

Whisk together nectar and 2 cups confectioner's sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Add more sugar if needed.

Robin's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Topping- 1 Cup of chopped walnuts

1/2 Cup of sugar

1 TBS Cinnamon mix all 3 together in a separate bowl and put aside til batter is made

1/2 cup of butter or margarine

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 cup of sour cream

1 tsp of vanilla

2 cups of flour-sifted -----)

1 tsp of baking soda ) SIFT TOGETHER

1 tsp of baking powder )

1/4 tsp of salt---------------)

Mix above ingredients together,pour half of mixture into a greased floured tube or bundt 

pan.Add half of topping mixture ,sprinkle over the batter then add the rest of the batter and 

smooth it all around and add the rest of the topping mixture on top of the batter,Bake at 

350 degrees for 45 minutes, cool then place dinner plate over top of cake to flip out of pan

and then put plate on bottom and turn right side up. Over the years I have learned that if I

spray the pan with Pam spray and really spray it well I do not need to use flour in the pan

to coat it. Hope you enjoy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Banana Mango Frozen Yogurt

AWWWW.....Brain Freeze!!!  This was the effect of eating too much of this, too fast!!!!!
Lucas is sick and wanted frozen yogurt.  Hubby didn't get a chance to get any while filling prescriptions today, so...I made some!  It isn't overly sweet so add the orange juice if you like it on the sweet side.  Hope ya like it!  We did!!!

Banana Mango Frozen Yogurt

3 bananas
1 9 oz can mango nectar, I buy Goya
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2-3 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate, optional if you want it sweeter

Pour mango nectar into a freezer worthy container.  Place in freezer along with bananas, in peels.  Freeze for 3 hours or so.  
When ready to make....  
Cut bananas and mango nectar into chunks.
Put into food processor or blender, along with greek yogurt.  
Pulse until incorporated.  Serve immediately or place in freezer for later. 
Makes 6 4oz servings.  Easily doubled.  You will need to.  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hershey Cake

I found this while looking through some old recipes.  I don't know who it came from, but it has been around for a long time.  When googled it will pop right up with several links to basically the same recipe.  I made mine a little different, as usual.  This time, because I didn't have everything it called for and made adjustments along the way.  It turned out great and my boys wanted to eat it up as soon as it was taken out of the oven.  Of course, I didn't let them.  ;D  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!
Hershey Cake

4 oz Hershey Candy Bar
4 oz semi sweet chocolate bar
2 eggs 
2 cups granulated sugar 
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine 
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease bundt pan.  
Melt chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds and then at 10 seconds intervals until almost melted.  Stir to completely melt.
Sift dry ingredients together and put aside.  Save a couple tablespoons to toss the nuts in.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in chocolate until incorporated scrapping the sides if necessary.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Add flour and buttermilk alternately, ending with buttermilk.
Fold in nuts and chips.
Put in greased bundt pan.
Cook in 325 degree,  preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
Leave in pan for 10 minutes and turn onto wire rack.
Drizzle whole cake, or individual slices, with chocolate syrup.  Enjoy!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook Review

I just love cast iron cooking and to be able to review The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook as my first cookbook review, is truly an honor.  Thank you very much for the opportunity, Lodge Cast Iron Cookware.

Lodge Cast Iron cooking is a way of life.  It is the most treasured of all cookware.  There isn't anything that cannot be baked, fried, sauteed, boiled, grilled, tenderized, crushed or weighted down with it.  Memories of my Mama and Grandma cooking in it are forever kept in my heart.

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook is a wonderful accompaniment to their cookware.  I love the style of the book.  It is soft covered yet strong enough to hold up even in my kitchen with three young boys always helping.  The pages are thick, another plus when there are little helping hands and messes abound.

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook includes recipes contributed by amazing cooks, from chefs to food bloggers, National Cornbread Cook-off winners to cooking show hosts and everyone in between.  The pictures stand out and make you want to head to the kitchen to grab your cast iron cookware and ingredients to create the delicious recipes you have just viewed.

There are chapters of recipes with everything you may be thinking of cooking and then some.  I could start at the beginning with Seasonal Breakfast Frittata and cook my way through Maggie Doherty's Irish Soda Bread, which I did make and loved.  I have made many recipes that are absolutely amazing.  Savannah Red Rice, by Steven Satterfield, a delicious one skillet meal with shrimp, sausage, rice, tomatoes, vegetables and spices.  One serving just wasn't enough!   This was followed by Cherry Clafouti, the recipe in the book was adapted from the book You Can Trust a Skinny Cook by Allison Fishman.  I have never made clafouti before finding this delightful recipe in the cookbook.  My family will be glad to know that this will be made over and over again in our kitchen.

I was very happy to see a metric conversion table was included in the cookbook.  It is something that I find myself needing more and more.  There is also a page that explains how to care for and re-season your cast iron, should the need arise.  I know, that on more than one occasion, mine has been placed in the dishwasher by mistake and scrubbed a little too hard.  This is also great to know, should you be lucky enough to find, or be gifted with,   cast iron that is in need of a little TLC.  I was fortunate to purchase a 25+ year old Lodge Perch Cornbread Pan yesterday.  I immediately came home and re-seasoned it and cannot wait to cook it in.   Shall I make cornbread or dessert?  Both!

Cooking Outdoors is a favorite chapter, as we spend most of out time outside.  In it you will find out how to do Camp Dutch Oven Cooking, including the number of briquettes needed and where to position them.  My favorite part of this chapter is how to Make Your Own Bean Hole and how to cook in it.  This is something I am definitely going to do.

My very favorite part of The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, is the sharing of precious memories that accompany treasured recipes.  To me, there is always a memory that is part of each recipe.  Whether they are from days of ole or newly made.  Nothing makes food taste better than the cooking of Treasured Recipes in Lodge Cast Iron Cookware while thinking of, and sharing, Precious Memories.  Have a beautiful time making new recipes and memories, while preserving the old.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Easter Carrot Bags

So cute!  The boys are out of school this week and I wanted to start Easter fun!  I dyed some eggs..some worked, some didn't.  Some were beautiful some, well, not so.  ~smile~
I've seen those cute carrot bags filled with goldfish in Wilton decorating bags on the internet.  For me...they are way too expensive.  I decided to make the carrots on my budget using plastic storage bags.  Super easy and a whole lot cheaper.  Have fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

A very different kind of cake to say the least.  My boys Love it!  The outside is a little chewy. The inside is a velvety smooth, melt in your mouth delight.  The combination of the two is amazing.  As soon as the cake was gone, my boys were asking for another one.  ~smile~

Flourless Chocolate Cake

3 eggs
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsweetened butter, cut in slices
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk 
1 6 oz box JELL-O Instant Chocolate Pudding
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease 8” cake pan, spring form pan or 9” cast iron skillet.  I used a cast iron skillet.
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave in 30 seconds intervals, stirring to mix after each, until chocolate is almost melted.  Then in 10 second intervals until it is completely melted.  Do not over heat.  Cool. 
Beat eggs with sugar.  Add melted chocolate and butter and mix.  Add chocolate pudding and buttermilk.  Mixture will be very thick, like pudding.
Spread into a greased pan and cook for 25 minutes, turn pan around and cook for another 20-30 minutes.  Check to see if it is done by lightly pressing on the top.  It will feel soft to touch in the middle and the edges will be firm.  

Turn out of pan, and then, turn over again so that the top is the top.   Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! 

Double Mocha Cappuccino Topping
per serving

1/4 cup Fat Free Cool Whip
1/2-1 teaspoon Sugar Free Double Mocha Cappuccino Drink Mix
Mix together and top slice of cake

This recipe received Honorable Mention on Recipe Riot

Friday, March 16, 2012

Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

I decided to make peppermint dark chocolate cookies for my oldest son's class.  It's the last day of school before spring break starts, YAY!  St. Patrick's Day is Saturday, so I wanted to make something special.   I looked through the pantry and found cake mixes.  Yep, easy cookies are in the making for me today.  They take a little bit of time but so worth the smiles.  Update.....they were a hit with the children at school, and home!  ;D

Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop, Colcannon and Irish Stew

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Many thanks to Joan at Chocolate Chocolate and More for inviting me to be a part of this great St. Patty's Day Blog Hop.  I am honored to be a part of it with these beautiful foodie friends!   If you haven't already, please follow each of us.  I am on facebook, goggle connect, linky follow, networkedblogs, pinterest, twitter, rss  and email subscribe.  Facebook is on the lefthand side and the others are the right hand side of this page.  Enjoy!!  <3 and hugs!

Joan at Chocolate, Chocolate and more made Grasshopper Pie
Carrie at Carrie's Experimental Kitchen made an Irish Feast

I usually end up baking something to blog but this time, I wanted to share Irish Stew and Colcannon instead.   I went on a search for St. Patty's Day recipes and Colcannon was included.  Having no idea what it was, I took a look and so glad I did.  Mashed potatoes, cabbage, ham...foods I love all mixed together with a lot of butter and milk.  Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmmm!  To add to the yumminess of the dish, I found a folk song to go with it.  LOVE!  After you view the recipes and listen to the great song that is stuck in my head now, please visit my lovely friends in our...St. Patty's Day Blog Hop!  <3 and hUgs!

6-8 medium potatoes
1 head cabbage, cored and shredded
3/4 to 1 pound smoked ham, diced
4 scallions, sliced
1 stick butter, cut in temperature
1/2 to 1 cup warm milk
salt and pepper to taste
fresh, or dried, parsley for topping

Play song while you cook this great dish.  Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain.  Mash together with butter and enough milk to your desired consistency.  Cover cabbage with water, add ham and boil until tender.  Take cabbage out of pot and chop into small pieces along with ham.  Gently mix cabbage, ham and scallions with mashed potatoes.  When you serve, make an indentation in the middle, add butter and sprinkle with parsley.

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?


Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it, sure, the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.
Did you ever take potato cake in a basket to the school,
Tucked underneath your arm with your book, your slate and rule?
And when the teacher wasn't looking, sure, a great big bite you'd take,
Of the creamy flavoured buttered soft and sweet potato cake.
Did you ever go a-courting as the evening sun went down,
And the moon began a-peeping from behind the Hill o' Down?
As you wandered down the boreen where the leprechaun was seen,
And you whispered loving phrases to your little fair colleen

This is all that was left to take a picture of.  :D
Irish Stew

1 1/2 pounds stew meat or chuck roast cut in cubes
1 onion, cut in large pieces
4-6 potatoes, cut in cubes
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
6 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 large bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seasoned flour or flour

Toss stew meat in flour.  Cover bottom of heavy pot or skillet with oil and brown meat.  Add onion and cook until lightly browned.  Add 4 cups beef broth, 1 1/2 stalks sliced celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Stirring occasionally.  Add potatoes, carrots, remaining celery and broth.  Cook until vegetables are tender, around 20 minutes.  Enjoy!  <3 and hUgS!

You may enjoy these also:
Corned Beef, Cabbage and Portobello Wheat Pizza
Non-Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Fruit

It's almost St. Patrick's day and I have been in the mood to cook the part.  You know, Corned Beef and Cabbage,  Irish Stew.....making Shamrock Shakes for my boys.  I've never made Irish Soda Bread before and so glad that I did.  I opted for a non-traditional bread, adapting this recipe from Barefoot Contessa's recipes for Irish Soda Bread.  While it isn't traditional Irish Soda Bread,  which has only flour, soda, salt and buttermilk,  it is great bread!  I didn't have any currants, couldn't find any and my boys ate all the raisins so I used what I had ... dried fruit bits and they made the bread wonderful!   Enjoy!

Corned Beef, Cabbage, Portobello Wheat Crust Pizza

A fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!  Turn your corned beef and cabbage into a delicious pizza!  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strawberry Grapefruit Pie

A pie with two of my favorite fruit paired together to make a yummy dessert!  The boys want strawberry, I want grapefruit.  I made a pie to keep us all happy!  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!

Strawberry Grapefruit Pie
I received an Honorable Mention on Recipe Riot for this pie <3

1 baked deep dish pie crust
2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 large red grapefruit, peeled, membrane removed and cut in sections or pieces
1/2 cup Karo Syrup, light
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
3 oz box strawberry jello
3 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt and pepper
whipped cream and fruit if desired

Bake pie crust according to directions.  Wash and slice strawberries.  Place in a colander  to drain.  When dry, slice.  Put some aside for toppings.  Peel, remove membrane and cut grapefruit in sections or pieces.  Put on paper towels to remove liquid.  Save some for toppings.  Dice 1/4 cup each strawberries and grapefruit put aside.  Put a layer of sliced strawberries on the bottom of the pie shell.  Add grapefruit and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Add another layer of sliced strawberries.  Heat Karo Syrup, sugar,  salt and pepper, diced fruit, water *start with 1/4 cup* and cornstarch, cook until thickened, stirring continuously.  Remove from heat and add jello, stirring constantly until dissolved.  If too thick, add a little water.  Pour over fruit and place in refrigerator until set.  At least 2 hours or until firm.  Top with whipped cream and additional fruit if desired.

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