Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Red Cake

In honor of Derk's 40th birthday (yes, you read that correctly!) I am posting a recipe for red cake, which in other parts of the world is known as "Red Velvet Cake." When we were younger (MUCH younger!) for every birthday our mom would make us red cake. Our Grandma also would make this and it's a cherished family recipe. Derk has actually made it himself which is quite impressive! He says the frosting is more like a science experiment!

So, Happy Birthday, Derk and I hope everyone enjoys the recipe for Red Cake!

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 1-oz bottles red food coloring
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined. Make paste of cocoa and food coloring, add to creamed mixture. Put vinegar with soda, fold in with vanilla, buttermilk and cake flour. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

1 cup milk
5 Tbsp flour
2 cubes butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Cook milk and flour together until thick. Cool. Beat 2 cubes butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Add cooled flour mixture. Continue beating until consistency of whipping cream.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boil in Bag Omelets

OK, so this is not a very sophisticated recipe, but it is low fat and super easy and kinda fun! My mom's friend taught her how to do these and this is one of my go-to meals when we are in a hurry. Enjoy!

For each omelet:

2 eggs, whisked together
Pour into a quart freezer bag then add any of the following:

ham, diced
grated cheese (you pick your favorite)
green onions, chopped (this gives the omelet a nice flavor)
frozen hash browns
mushrooms, sliced

Squeeze air out of bag and seal tightly. Place bag in LARGE pot of boiling water. After water returns to boiling, cook for 13 minutes. Open bag, pour omelet onto plate and serve!

I usually write the kids names on the front of the bag with a Sharpie so that we know who's is who's. (since they like different things in their omelets)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Homemade Mac and Cheese

OK - Kristin called me last night and begged me to post my version of Homemade Mac and Cheese. I hope I can figure out a way to write it down! It's one of those that has just kind of evolved over time and experiment. Jeff won't eat it - so it's mostly a "kids and me" meal when he's flying. He doesn't know what he's missing! :)

1/2 to 1 pound of pasta - I usually use penne or the corkscrew curly kind (I know I'm so technical!)
1/4 cup butter (you can substitute margarine, but butter tastes better)
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 2 cups of milk
1 to 1 & 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Boil pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in medium saucepan. Once completely melted, add flour (with salt and pepper added) all at once, stirring well. It will combine into almost a paste. Slowly add milk, whisking to incorporate. I usually add about one cup, let it get thick, and then add more depending on how much pasta I've used. Cook the sauce over medium high heat until thickened, being careful to whisk continually. Add shredded cheese and whisk in until completely melted, reserving some to sprinkle on top.
Drain pasta when fully cooked. Put pasta in large (about 2 quart) casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over the top. Mix in well. Sprinkle with reserved shredded cheese. My kids like to eat it like this - it's toasty enough to melt the cheese on top and very creamy, but my mom always cooked it in a 425 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes for a final step. It turns out a little more "solid" that way. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of cheddar - my kids like mild, but I've really enjoyed sharp and medium for a bit of "bite" to it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Recipe request

Hey fellow favs bloggers-

I have this hankering to find a recipe for good, homemade mac 'n cheese. I figured with all you great cooks, one of you is bound to have one that you've actually tried and know works. I've seen recipes before, but they seem a little too fussy. The blue box works in desperation, but I want to actually make the real thing. Thanks!! (And thanks for letting me post a request, and not just recipes all the time!)

Monday, March 3, 2008

California Chicken Casserole

This is one of my favorite things my mom makes - it's pretty easy if you use the canned chicken (and just as good)!

California Chicken Casserole

1 whole chicken, cooked & cut up or 2 10 oz cans of chicken
1 12 oz package of egg noodles, cooked
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 small can button mushrooms
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
Parsley flakes

In a 9x13 inch pan or two smaller pans, layer noodles, then chicken, then eggs, then cheese, then mushrooms. Blend milk and soup and pour over all. On top, put remaining cheese and sprinkle with parsley flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Makes a HUGE casserole or two medium-sized ones. Make only half the recipe for one casserole.

This is definition of "comfort food"!!!