Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taco Seasoning

I like to make a large batch of this so I can easily use it without having to make it every time I want to use it. So much better than the packets at the store!

4 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. To season 1 pound of turkey or chicken, add 2 heaping tablespoons of the seasoning along with about 1 cup of water. Store in an airtight container.
Source: Annie's Eats

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Icing and Vanilla Buttercream

Chocolate Cake 
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Grease 3 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment circles. 
Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix briefly on a low speed to blend. Add the oil, buttermilk, brewed coffee, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on a medium speed until the ingredients are well incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes once done and then invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper. Ice with the caramel icing in between the layers and the vanilla buttercream over the completed layers.
Source: Annie's Eats

Caramel Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the butter, light brown sugar, and dark brown sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir, bring the mixture back to a boil, and remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Use immediately to frost the cake only in the middle and on the top. If the frosting hardens, place back over low heat and stir until soft.
Source: adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor

Vanilla Buttercream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place the butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until well blended, starting on a low speed and gradually increasing to a high speed, scraping the sides of the bowl every so often. If the frosting is too stiff, add just a bit more milk.
Pipe only onto the sides of the cake.
Source: adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

4 cups peeled and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup milk
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons sour cream

Place the potatoes in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are pierced easily with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place back in the pot with the cheese, milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher and whip in an electric mixer until smooth.
Source: adapted from The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crab Cakes

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound lump crabmeat
3/4 cup Panko breadcumbs

Stir the red onion, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs together. Fold in the crabmeat. Let chill for 30 minutes.
Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet. Form the crabmeat mixture into balls, flatten, and cover in the Panko breadcrumbs. Let cook for about 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Source: Cooking Light

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cornmeal Biscuits

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450°F. 
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix on a medium speed until well combined. Add the buttermilk and mix on a low speed until the mixture comes together.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a 8x4-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 equal pieces and placed on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Source: Cooking Light Readers' Top-Rated Recipes

Monday, September 5, 2011


1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9x13 metal pan.
Melt the butter and 2 cups of the chocolate chips in a double broiler.
Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a medium sized bowl until just combined and add in the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Let cool.
Sift together 1/2 cup of the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture. Combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of the flour and add to the mixture. Pour evenly in prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Once the brownies have been in the oven for 15 minutes, tap the sides of the pan to allow any air between the pan and the batter to escape.
Let cool before cutting into bars.
Source: Annie's Eats


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