Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sigrid's Carrot Cake

So, I mentioned making this carrot cake for Easter. I thought I would go ahead and post the actual recipe because it is SOOOOO good. I found it on The Pioneer Woman Cooks and now kiss the ground that she walks on! The only thing I did different is that I added the chopped pecans to the top of half of the cake because I have an 8 yr old who can't stand nuts and an 18 month old who can't have them! It's really difficult to explain how delicious this is!!


2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups grated carrots

Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and combine. Add carrots and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured (or Baker’s Joyed) pan (Bundt, sheet cake, 9 x 13 Pyrex) and bake until done, 25 to 50 minutes, depending on the pan you use. Cool completely.

1 stick (1/4 pound) regular butter, softened
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped finely
2 teaspoons vanilla

In large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla and blend, then mix in the nuts. Spread on cooled carrot cake.

Eat. Faint. Repeat as needed.

And Happy Easter!

Pioneer Woman

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

So I made this on Monday for our Easter dinner.
(Stay tuned to my blog to hear why it was on Monday and not Sunday like the rest of the free world!) It was delicious. Every child ate it and liked it.
I also made Roxie's Cheesy Potatoes, some bread machine rolls, artichokes AND the best carrot cake I've ever tasted! (For those of you that are a little less tech savvy: just click on the green words and it will take you to the recipes of the foods I just mentioned!)
Without further adieu: Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole:

• 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup finely crushed herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
• 1 cup cooked, diced turkey meat
• 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
• 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour. Slowly stir in evaporated milk and water, then season with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
3. In a separate saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Blend in the dry stuffing mix. Place the turkey in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over turkey, then sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Spread mashed potatoes over cheese. Top mashed potatoes with the stuffing mixture.
4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I just wanted to remind everyone with Easter being this weekend that I had posted a great recipe/object lesson for your kids, the Resurrection Cookies. My kids love it and ask to do it every year. Let me know if you try it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Homemade taquitos?

The other day I was trying to figure out what to do with some leftovers. I had taco-seasoned ground beef that we had used for taco salad. I also had a bunch of corn tortillas and some shredded sharp cheddar somewhere. SO, I decided to make taquitos. I slapped butter on one side of the corn tortilla and then threw it on the hot skillet to sizzle for a minute. Then I loaded it up with the beef and cheddar. I found it difficult to roll it up like a taquito without burning off my fingerprints so I just folded it in half like a taco. I waited 'til one side of the tortilla started to brown and then I flipped it and browned the other sided. After removing from the pan, I added whatever we had on hand. Onions, cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream. They were delicious and even the kids LOVED them! Here's a picture of two taquitos getting to know each other in the skillet:

Hey there, come here often?

No, it's my first time. ...Is it getting HOT?

::chuckles::Yeah, I hear that a lot. I seem to have that effect on the ladies.

::hmph::Your cheese is leaking...

Uh, yeah, uh, I meant to do that.

And here they are after they've gotten to know each other a little better. They make quite the pair, don't they?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Different Kind of Salad

I get stuck in a rut with my salads and side dishes. I decided to try to branch out a little. This one is really easy.

Mango and Black Bean Salad

1 1/2 Cups chopped peeled ripe mango
1 Cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 Cup cooked wild or brown rice
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons roasted tomatillo or fresh salsa
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained (I used dry beans instead of canned)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to mix. Yield: 6 servings(2/3 C)
Calories: 167 Fat 5.4g

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

For the filling:

Chop vegetables. I like to use carrots, celery, potatoes and broccoli. Boil vegetables in water until soft. If you like peas, add them after the other vegetables are mostly cooked through.

Cook chicken and cube.

2 cans cream of chicken (or any cream of soup)
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp crushed thyme
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix all together.

For the crust:

2 cups flour
1 tsp onion salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 plus cup cold water

Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture. The secret to great pot pie crust is the onion salt! Add water slowly. Work dough into a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll out the dough and fit into pie plate. Trim edge. Roll out top crust. Add filling. Cover with top crust; trim and flute edges. Cut slits in top. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

For pictures, click here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

3 TB olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB tomato paste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 qt. chicken of vegetable broth
1 C. RED lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste (I used bottled lemon juice ::gasp::)
3 TB. chopped fresh cilantro

In a large pot, heat 3 TB oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and saute until golden, about 4 min.
Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and saute for 2 min. longer.
Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 min. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, puree half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.
Serves 4

OK, here's what I did: First of all I doubled it. Why go to all that trouble and not have leftovers?! I already told you I used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh. I forgot to add the extra 2 cups water...don't know if it would've made a difference or not. I didn't serve it drizzled with more olive oil; I thought that sounded kinda weird. But who knows? Anyway, we LOVED this soup. It has a kind of Mexican flair to it (just like me?) and was delicioso. I had to go to FOUR different grocery stores before I could find RED lentils. And listen to me people...are you listening? Really? Are you? Because I'm only going to say this once: you have to use RED lentils. You cannot substitute any other color lentil for this soup! I don't have time to explain why, you just can't.
Now here's a test to see if you were listening: what color lentils do you need? If you answered red then you are correct. I will also accept "roja" as a correct answer. Here's a picture so you know exactly what to look for at the store. One bag is enough to double the recipe. Enjoy!