Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fluff

My grandma used to make this for all of our holiday meals. I especially remember it on Easter. I just remembered it this past Easter, and I'm so glad I did. It's so yummy. You can easily change it up by changing flavors of Jello. I also really like orange jello with mandarin oranges mixed in. Mmmm... a perfect summer side.

Fluff

3 cups cottage cheese
2 (3 oz) boxes of strawberry jello
1 container of cool whip
Strawberries (optional)

Whisk the jello powder into the cool whip. Add cottage cheese and stir well. Add fresh, sliced strawberries (optional) or have them for garnish. Refrigerate until serving.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Carrot Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

For Easter dinner it was just me and the 4 kiddos, but I still wanted to make a nice Easter dinner... it's just the way I am. I made way too much, of course, but we had leftover ham, potatoes, salads, and most importantly THIS CAKE, all week long. It was heavenly. I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, and I really liked the idea of an easier sheet cake carrot cake so I decided to try it out. It was so delicious!!! My kids and I could not stop eating it, even after we stuffed ourselves with a big dinner. I was pleasantly surprised at just how delicious it turned out. It's a perfect recipe for when you just don't have the time (or motivation) to do the full blown carrot cake recipe. I halved the recipe because it was just 5 of us, but later I wished I would have made the full recipe!! It went way too fast.

Cake:
4 large eggs
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 pounds carrots, washed and ends trimmed (they don’t need to be peeled)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour an 11X17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Shred the carrots, finely, on a box grater or food processor. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, oil, applesauce, water and vanilla. Whisk in the sugar to combine until evenly mixed.

In a second bowl mix flour, spices, salt, soda and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold the carrots into the batter until evenly distributed. Bake the cake for 30-32 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely.

For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, vanilla and butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the frosting and whip to combine (don’t overmix or the frosting will become too stiff). The frosting should be smooth and creamy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Crunchy Salad

This is one of my favorite salads to take to a potluck or neighborhood BBQ. It is always gone in minutes, and I've had more people ask for the recipe for this salad than any other that I bring. The texture and taste are wonderful. It's the perfect salad. Light, colorful, and easy to put together.

Crunchy Salad

1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup cashews
1 cup dried cranberries
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dressing:
1 cup Mayo
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar

Mix first 6 ingredients together in a bowl. Mix together the mayo and sugar. Chill in fridge for 10 - 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and mix until smooth. Pour dressing over other ingredients and toss to mix.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Perfect Bread

I am so excited about this bread. I have been searching and searching for it seems like forever to find a perfect recipe that tastes good to me and my family. Bread is a tricky thing. There are so many recipes out there and what is marvelous to one may not be to another. After trying many bread recipes out that I did like but didn't love, I finally found one that I will be making consistently. My friend, Jolene, gave me the basis for this recipe but I changed a few thing here and there. I really wanted it to have more wheat flour in the recipe and the first time I made this recipe I used half wheat and half white flour. But, and this is a big but, my kids and myself did not like the taste or texture of the bread. I only hope that I can gradually add more wheat flour into things to get my kids more used to the taste. After all, you can make and prepare wonderfully healthy things, but if your family won't eat them.... than it doesn't do anyone any good. I just have to remind myself that it's all about taking small steps to becoming healthier each day.

Sadie's Perfect Bread

1/2 cup shortening
2 TBSP salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 cups boiling water
3 packets yeast
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 - 2 cups wheat flour
10 -11 cups white flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
3 TBSP dough enhancer

I use my Bosch to mix the dough so that is how I am writing my recipe. Adjust accordingly if you are doing it by hand.

Put the shortening, salt, sugar, honey, and powdered milk into your Bosch bowl. Mix lightly. Pour the boiling water over mix. (If you need to proof your yeast, do it now) Mix again. Add the cold water and 2 cups of flour and mix well.
Add yeast and mix again. Add 4 cups flour and mix again. Add wheat gluten and dough enhancer and mix well. Add the remaining flour, a cup full at a time, and mix until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. Mix for 10 - 15 minutes on medium speed.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double the size.
Punch down and separate dough into 4 equal pieces. Make sure your loaf pans are greased well. Put dough in 4 loaf pans and let rise again.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 15 minutes so the tops don't get too dark.
When they are done, melt butter and brush over the tops.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Skor Chocolate Chip Cookies

My daughter and I were having fun in the kitchen one day and invented these heavenly cookies. They are crispy, chocolatey, and divine. Make sure to use real Skor bars smashed up and not just the toffee chips you can find in the baking aisle. It really does make a difference!!

Skor Cookies

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chopped Skor bars
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

Mix brown sugar, white sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl until well-blended.
Add in eggs and beat well.
Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined.
Add in chocolate and white chocolate chips and then mix the Skor pieces until just combined. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes until the cookies are lightly brown.
I had one batch get too dark and it made the cookies pretty crisp so be careful with the time! Allow to cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
The Skor pieces can make the cookies stick to the pan so make sure to remove the cookies as soon as possible after you remove them from the oven.
Enjoy!