Monday, February 28, 2011

Cornbread or corn cake?

I've been wanting some corn bread lately and since I had Bisquick on hand I decided to try a recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen. I halved the recipe and baked it in a 8x8 pan. It turned out really well! This recipe made an extremely moist, cake-like bread, a bit too sweet for my taste, I'll cut back on the sugar next time and maybe make it in a bigger pan because it was a bit thick.

Emily's Corn Bread for Dummies

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter. Mix with a large wooden spoon or spatula, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out clean.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Comforting Chicken Noodle Casserole

This recipe came from A Southern Grace, it was a simple dish to make and very tasty. The only complaint was that there was a little too much sour cream flavor. The recipe calls fro 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, but I used 4 tenders and that was more than enough. I don't have a kitchen scale to measure out 6 oz of noodles so I used about 2 1/2 c. of wide egg noodles. I served it with a side of steamed broccoli.

Comforting Chicken Noodle Casserole
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 ounces egg noodles
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
1 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350F.
Poach the chicken in a large pot of simmering water. Cook until no longer pink in center, about 12 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Bring chicken cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta in it. Drain. Shred or dice the chicken and mix it with the noodles.
In a separate bowl, mix together the mushroom soup, chicken soup, and sour cream. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Gently stir together the cream soup mixture with the chicken mixture. Place in a 2-quart baking dish.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Stir in the crumbled crackers and sprinkle atop the casserole. Bake for about 30 minutes, until heated through and browned on top.

Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins

A relatively healthy choice for a snack, these muffins are filled with fiber and they don't taste half bad. I made them with half white and half wheat flour, some I baked up plain and some I added coconut and to the rest I used coconut and raisins. There were some changes I would make next time. I didn't think the coconut added anything so I would leave that out next time. I liked the raisins and was thinking nuts might be good and maybe a bit of orange zest to brighten them up. Cranberries instead of raisins would probably be good as well.

I found the recipe at Kate in the Kitchen

Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins
from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission
1 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. flour (AP or Whole Wheat, or both)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. ground flaxseed
1 c. cooked and mashed sweet potato
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. canola oil
1/4 c. skim milk
1 large egg
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk oatmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and flaxseed. In another small bowl, combine sweet potato, brown sugar, oil, egg, milk and vanilla, whisking to blend well. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Mix until just moistened. Scoop into muffin tins and back for 15-20 minutes. Check at the 15 minute mark- these bake up quickly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The coconut carrot cake that wasn't...

I saw this recipe at A Southern Grace for carrot coconut cake. I love carrot cake and I love coconut cake and that picture looks great! I must make it, I thought. So on my next trip to the store I went armed with a list of ingredients, Cream of Coconut, not a problem it's right there in the liquor aisle. Coconut extract, that should be an easy find right? Wrong, there isn't even a place for it on the shelf. Seriously? Vanilla, almond even root beer extract but no coconut. That's okay I reasoned, I'm sure between the shredded coconut and the cream of coconut it will be good anyway.

I start to make the cake getting all my ingredients ready before hand. (something I don't usually do), the nuts are chopped and the carrots are shredded. Everything is going great. Except for peeling my thumb when I was peeling the carrots but if I took injuring myself in the kitchen as a sign, I would never cook again. Anyway, It's time to add the cream of coconut, I open the can to find a slightly brownish waxy looking layer when I dug a bit deeper a greasy looking syrup. Does anyone know what cream of coconut is supposed to look like? If that's what it normally looks like I think I'll be getting rid of any recipes with that in it. Anyway since everything else was mixed up and ready to go I just added extra oil and made it without the cream of coconut.

The flavor of the cake was lacking but the texture was okay. and since I couldn't make the frosting which is a shame because I think I wanted to try that more than the cake and I didn't have any cream cheese. I had to go next door and borrow a can of frosting. Maybe one day I'll try it again, but I would like to know if the cream of coconut was bad or if it was supposed to look that way.