Sunday, May 24, 2009

Simple White Cupcakes (and Icing)

Since cupcakes are my favorite treat, I have a rule that in our house we never use cake mix or store-bought icing. These are my very favorite (and very easy!) recipes:

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. You can add more milk to make the cake lighter (I usually add an extra splash or two.) Beat REALLY well each time- turns out SOOO light and fluffy. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. Makes 18 cupcakes.

ICING (Wilton recipe)
1/4 C vegetable shortening
1/4 C butter
2 C confectioner's sugar
2 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Here is my Godma's version of Shepherd's Pie which is super easy.

Mashed potatoes
Ground meat (your choice of beef,chicken orturkey)
diced carrots (optional)
Worcestershire sauce
shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F
Lightly grease a pie dish
Brown your ground meat in a skillet. Add approximately one tbsp of Worcestershire sauce. (adjust according to your preference)
Add in your carrots and peas.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
Set aside to cool.

Spread mashed potatoes evenly and mold it around the pie dish.
Spoon your ground meat ingredients on top of the mashed potatoes.
And cover the ingredients with another layer of mashed potatoes.
Decorate the mashed potatoes on top with a fork.
Lightly sprinkle the top with some shredded cheese (My Godma sometimes uses regular American cheese to write our names on individual mini pie casseroles)

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
Serve warm.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Macaroni & Cheese Hamburger

This one is always a hit & very easy & quick. As a matter of fact I have a couple easy ones like this but need some new ones to try. Especially ones that the kids will eat. Hope you all's nothing fancy or anything just easy & tasty.

1 lb of Hamburger meat

2 boxes of Mac'n'Cheese (make as directed on the boxes)

1 can of stewed or diced tomatoes

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of tomato paste

Brown the Hamburger meat & cook the Mac'n'Cheese as directed on the box. Then when both meat & Macaroni are cooked mixed together stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce & tomato paste all together with meat & macaroni. Serve & Enjoy.

Pumpkin and Kale Pasta

I haven't tried this yet, but due to my whining about having too much Kale and not knowing what to do with it, a friend provided this recipe. Sounds delicious.

  • cook 1 pound pasta of the tubular variety. Drain and reserve.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add about 8 oz of chopped kale (remove thick stems and chop into 1 in pieces) and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3-5 min.
  • Add 29 oz pumpkin puree (found in the store next to the pumpkin pie filling, but don't use the pumpkin pie filling. Just pure pumkin), 31 oz vegetable broth, and 2 tbs jarred sun dried tomato pesto. stir and bring to a simmer....
  • season to taste with salt and pepper
  • toss pasta with pumpkin mixture. transfer to a 9 by 13 baking dish or eight individual dishes. Top with 1/2 cup unblanched sliced almonds. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 mins or until top is golden.