Friday, January 29, 2010

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake

I am on a Pioneer Woman kick lately. I made this Texas Sheet Cake on Sunday for company and it delivered! The leftovers did not last long in our house. Here is the play-by-play.

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • _____
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans (I did mine sans nuts)
  • 1-¾ stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar
Preparation Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

Pioneer Woman Salsa

I made this yummy salsa yesterday and I can't stay away from it. It truly is a restaurant salsa and so delish if you make the cheese nachos she suggests. For more detailed instructions, go here.

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
  • ¼ cups Chopped Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
  • ¼ teaspoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • ½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • ½ whole Lime Juice
Preparation Instructions

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lion House Honey Butter

This is so good you may want to eat it all.

1/2 c butter (at room temp)
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla

Whip all together for 20 minutes and serve. Voila!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Banana Ice Cream

This was posted by Our Best Bites last week and tonight I tested it out with true critics.
They really loved it!!!
Here's the secret recipe:
3 bananas
Yep, that's it. I chopped up three bananas and put them in a bowl, left them in the freezer for 2 hours and after dinner I put them in the food processor for a minute or two and served it up like ice cream. They raved! (Of course they rave over plain frozen bananas and not a meal that I have slaved in the kitchen for all day!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers

Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 chicken tenders (ya know, more or less...)
1-2 eggs (start with one and crack another if it runs out)
1/2 C flour
1 C sweetened coconut flakes
1 C panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (you can leave this out if you want to skip the spice for the kiddos)

preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Give coconut a rough chop so it's about the same size as the panko pieces

Combine it with Panko and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well to distribute all of the spices.

Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Give the egg a quick beating.

Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge in flour...

then dip in egg...

And then finally coat in the coconut Panko mixture. Press in with your fingers to make sure the entire thing is well coated.

Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!) that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I give mine a teeny drizzle of olive oil on top to help them crisp nicely, but it's optional.

Bake in your 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Try not to overcook them because chicken tenders go from perfect to overcooked really fast! If your tenders are on the small side, they could even be done in about 15 minutes so keep an eye on them. If they're big they can take more like 25. The coconut will be nice and golden and the panko crisp, but light in color still.

Overnight Sausage and Egg casserole

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

from Our Best Bites

6-8 slices white bread*
about 1/4 C softened butter (just for buttering the bread slices)
4 C grated colby jack cheese
12 oz pork sausage, browned and drained if necessary
1 4 oz can green chiles, or a 7 oz can if you love 'em
6 eggs
2 C milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard

*bread: Most recipes like this call for slightly dried out french bread or something similar, but honestly I usually just use super cheap-o white bread and often fresh from the bag. Dry bread is great because it will soak up the eggs well, but really whatever you've got will work just fine.
*cheese: For extra kick you could use 2 C cheddar and 2 C pepperjack. Whatever you choose, avoid pre-shredded bagged cheese for this recipe. It doesn't melt as well and you might end up with a funny texture.

On with the cooking!

Start by removing the crusts from your bread and lightly buttering one side.

Place bread butter side down in a 9x13 baking dish. I usually need 6 pieces of bread, plus 1 cut in half to finish up the bottom row. You just want the bottom of the pan covered with no big gaps.

Grate your cheese and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the bread. And yes, you're reading the recipe correctly, 4 cups baby! Spread the browned sausage on top of that, and top with the green chiles.

One time I tried to be all healthy and give this recipe a makeover. I used wheat bread, reduced fat cheese (and much less of it) part egg substitute, etc. It was SUCH a waste of ingredients! Don't even try to take calorie-cutting short cuts. Trust me, just enjoy it!

In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk eggs. Add milk and then seasonings and whisk to combine well.

Slowly stir the egg mixture while you pour it evenly on top of the assembled casserole. You'll want to keep stirring or else the spices will all gather in one spot and drop onto one single piece of casserole. I speak from experience from one Christmas morning where my brother got the piece with ALL of the spices. Not so good.

Cover well and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pop the casserole in there and bake for 50-60 minutes. You'll want the center to be set and the outside edges to be golden brown. It will be puffy and beautiful like this (oh and your house will smell amazing!)

It's important to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it or it will just fall apart. As it cools it will settle- don't worry, that's normal! Cut into squares and serve warm.


I am a big fan of gingersnaps and have tried many recipes, but this is by far my favorite. They are soft and chewy and keep for several days in an airtight container.

2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. molasses
3 3/4 c. flour
1 T baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 T ginger

In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Drizzle in molasses and then gradually add dry ingredients. Chill dough for at least an hour. Roll dough into golf ball sized balls and cover in more granulated sugar. Place on baking sheets and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cafe Rio Recipes

I've never been to Cafe Rio, but I know everyone raves about it. I hear that these are their copy-cat recipes. My sister-in-law, Remi, first tried these recipes at an enrichment night and then she made enormous batches to feed the enormous family that came to their son's baptism. It was major delish--and not too unhealthy! I madeSee full size image the pork, rice, beans and dressing last week and I am still enjoying the leftovers!

Serve in the following order: tortillas (costco has great, cook your own tortillas in the refrigerator section), cheese, shredded chicken, pork or beef, black or pinto beans, lime rice, red and green leaf lettuce, chips

sides of: pico de gallo, guacamole, fresh cilantro, fresh lime slice, tomatillo dressing

5 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 sm bottle zesty italian dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingred together in a large crock pot. Cook on high for 5-7 hours.
Remove chicken and shred. Reserve a small amount of juice and pour over
shredded chicken. Keep warm.

2 pounds pork (we use boneless pork rib meat)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness but any will work)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!


1 large chuck roast, trimmed of fat

1 can coke—not diet

1-1½ T ancho chili powder (in the gourmet spices)

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

Red chili flakes

Lots of salt and pepper

A bit of an estimate on the spices—I had to add more seasoning to mine ½ way through. Cook in crock pot on high 4-6 hours (could be less!), until meat is tender and falls apart when shredding. Take meat out to cutting board, shred & put back into the crock pot. Adjust seasonings as needed. Turn heat to low and cook for approximately another hour in the juices.

in a saucepan, saute:
2 T butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced

In a large pot, bring to a boil the following:
6 2/3 cups water
8 t chicken buillion
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 sm cans diced green chilies
1 T lime juice
1/2 t pepper
3 cups of rice

(I used my rice cooker & just got the rice ready according to my rice cooker & added all of the spices, cilantro, onion, etc…it burned a little on the bottom, but it was easy and good!)


2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt.

Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.


4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t lime juice
1 t salt1/2 t pepper

1 pkg Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing mix
1 C buttermilk
1 C Mayo
1 to 2 tomatillos (blanched)
1/2 to 1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 t lime juice
1/2 to 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed!
BLEND together…let sit for at least a few hours for best taste