Sunday, August 26, 2007

Adventures with Cabbage!

As a child, cabbage was one vegetable I was never exposed to. I may have tried it in cole slaw, but....what is "cooked cabbage"? A colleague at work overheard me say that I have never tasted cooked cabbage. She couldn't believe it and brought me a large head of cabbage from her garden. She provided me with a basic "recipe" and encouraged me to modify it to my taste. The result...delicious! Too bad Chris refuses to try it. Haha. He said it is "the look" that turns him off. Maybe one day he will be brave enough for a taste. ;) Here is how I prepared the cabbage:

Sauteed Cabbage

1 large head of green cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, combine butter, garlic, and onion. Heat on medium-high until the butter is melted. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once mixture is boiling, add chopped cabbage. Saute for 20-25 minutes (until cabbage is tender), stirring every 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

**I also added some salt and pepper during the saute processes. Next time I will try it with less butter (I think 3/4 a stick would be plenty)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Oatmeal Cookies

Chris is at work and I was relaxing at home when...uh oh... a craving for oatmeal cookies struck! I decided to hunt for a new recipe on I am definitely making this my new standard oatmeal cookie recipe! I made a few changes (noted in parentheses) based on Chris' and my taste. I highly recommend trying this recipe! The cookies are soft and chewy, not to easy to make!

Excellent Oatmeal Cookies (original recipe from
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (I added this)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I added this)
1 teaspoon salt (I only used 1/2 teaspoon)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted this)
1 cup craisins (I added this)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats and nuts until just blended. Mix in craisins. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

** I made these a little bigger- tablespoon size. They required about 2 extra minutes bake time. Perfect! Next time I will add chocolate chips (I was out) in place of the craisins (at Chris' request).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chris' Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake!

Happy Birthday Chris!
I decided to make a Strawberry Layer Cake for Chris’ birthday. We had our parents over for lunch out and dessert back at our place. The cake was delicious! It had two layers with sliced strawberries and cream cheese frosting on top and between the layers. I baked the cake the night before and decorated it before our guests arrived.

Cake (Recipe modified from Raspberry Cake):
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, puréed
1 package of strawberry flavored jello
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly brush 2 9-inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a medium bowl; whisk to combine evenly. Stir the sour cream, strawberries, jello and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup, and set aside.

Beat the butter in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on high until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop and scrape butter off the sides of the bowl. Continue beating while gradually adding the sugar-- it should take a couple minutes to add all the sugar. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

At low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the sour cream in 2 parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix. Blend throughout.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. (Lightly tap the pan on the counter so the batter settles evenly.)

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-38 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes; then turn cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting II (From:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use (I made this ahead of time and removed it from the refrigerator 1 hour before use--room temperature frosting is easier to spread).

To assemble cake:

1 container fresh strawberries, sliced (divided)

Place one layer on serving tray and top with frosting. Then top frosting with sliced strawberries (about 1/3 container-start in the center and work your way out in a circular fashion. This will ensure you get taste of yummy strawberries with each bite.) Place second cake layer on strawberries. Spread frosting over entire cake (liberally). Top with fresh sliced strawberries 30 minutes or less before serving (the strawberry juices will run down the frosting if you wait too long).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm bored...let's make a Lemon Cake!

Chris is working today...the cleaning is done... and it is WAY to hot to stay out by the pool (I spent a few hours there this morning), so I think I will bake! I was feeling creative and decided to create my own "Lemon Cake". It turned out delicious! I can't wait for Chris to taste it.

Mix together the following:
1 box Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil (about 1 teaspoon less then 1/3 cup actually)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1-2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1 8-ounce container cream cheese

Grease 9x13 inch pan (I used a glass pan). Bake in pre-heated oven at 325 for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at room temp.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Mix together ingredients using hand mixer until it reaches a creamy, spreadable consistency. (You may need to add more sugar to thicken.)

Top cooled cake and enjoy!