Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

This is my family's all-time favorite cake (growing up & in my family now) is one of my clearest food memories (as a little girl I thought for the longest time it was "Sunday" cake because (it seemed) we always had it on Sunday.

My daughter H. opted to have it for her birthday...since May is loaded with birthday cakes this is a good option for us.

We serve this over vanilla ice cream (sometimes mint chocolate chip) & I love to add sliced bananas...YUM

in a 9 x 9 x 2 inch square pan combine:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 T. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and spread evenly to the edges of the pan.
In a small bowl combine:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over batter.

Pour 1 3/4 cups hot water over all.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes; the cake will "float" above the hot fudge sauce..serve warm.

Try's easy...and soooo good :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Birthday Dinner

Tortellini w/ sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, & prosciutto in a basil cream sauce...

This is me my take on a pasta dish from Clara's Station in Lansing, MI...with a few changes (of course) It starts with a basic bechamel sauce...which everyone should know how to make...more on that in another post :)

2 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. Butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 Tb. flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half and half
 6-8 large basil leafs, chiffonade
1- 14 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
about 1/4 cup thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
3-4 slices prosciutto thinly sliced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
frozen or fresh cheese tortellini

Bring a large pot of water to boil. When ready, salt water generously & add tortellini, cook per package directions.
Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter.  When hot add garlic and onions & cook a few minutes until soft.  Don't let them get brown (they will become bitter).  Sprinkle in the flour, stir and let cook for a minute or two.  Whisk in chicken stock, then half and half.  Bring to a simmer & allow to thicken.

Add basil, salt and pepper...go easy on the will be adding salt Parmesan a little later.  Stir in artichokes and sun dried tomatoes.

In a small skillet heat an additional 1/2 tb. olive oil.  Add prosciutto and saute until crisp, remove from heat.  Add to the sauce, reserving some to sprinkle on top if you like.

Stir in Parmesan, then add your cooked & drained tortellini, toss to coat with sauce & enjoy.

and for dessert...
Crepes with Nutella and Fresh Raspberries

for the crepes:
In a blender combine:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1 Tb. oil
2 Tb. sugar

Blend until smooth.

Heat a greased, small skillet of medium heat. Remove pan from heat, pour about 2 Tb. of the batter onto the pan and swirl to form a thin pancake.  Return to heat.  Cook until you can loosen the sides and lift out (it takes very little time, you will see the change in the crepe & know when it is takes a little practice, but you will get the hang of it).  Cook only on one side, transfer to a plate and repeat. Makes about 18.
 **I make a double batch, because I always tend to mess up a few & it never hurts to have a few extras :)

Smear Nutella (or other chocolate-hazelnut spread) onto your crepe, add a few raspberries, chopped or whole, and roll up. Enjoy!'s sooooo good :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Year's Birthday Cake

I still haven't birthday is tomorrow & I have no idea what I am going to make for dessert...I am leaning toward a crepe cake with Nutella ( I LOVE Nutella) :)

Last year I made this:
you can find the recipe here.

To see the rest of my 30th party menu visit my other blog...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fish Tacos

Cooking seafood is new to I am always on the lookout for a great recipe to try. Last night we had this:


...they were really, really good..I definitely recommend you try them :) {it makes A LOT of sauce & may want to make only 1/2}

Do you have any seafood recipes I should try???
Send me an e-mail at
...or just leave a comment
& I'll try them out & post them :)

I would love to hear from you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Try this...

First of all we had another great trip to the farmers market & got some plants this time...another good reason to shop your farmers markets-- this gigantic basil plant was only $3.00 & the hanging basket with tomatoes only $6.00-- now if I can keep them alive (I have a bit of a black thumb...I'm working on it) :)

so, on to some recipes...

I made my first Coconut Shrimp (with this recipe...minus the sauce-I like cocktail sauce) & it was good, but needs a little is what I would do differently next time...

*halve the breading ingredients...use 1 cup coconut, 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup flour and 2 eggs. I had soooo much leftover & wasted.

*substitute lightly toasted PANKO bread crumbs for the regular..I didn't like the texture of the regular bread crumbs.

*& make sure you generously salt & pepper both the flour & bread crumb mixture.

Give it a try & let me know what you think :)

And on a completely random favorite pizza topping...Sauteed portobello mushrooms...I get a little tired of pepperoni & black olives or ham & pineapple (my family's favorites) I make this instead.  Sometimes I pair it with basil pesto, sometimes regular pizza sauce, always with freshly grated Parmesan...

about 2 T. olive oil
1 container baby portobello mushrooms (or cremini)
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
salt & pepper
2-3 pinches red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried thyme

1. Clean & slice or dice your mushrooms.  Heat olive oil over med-high heat & add mushrooms, then garlic.  Saute a few minutes until mushrooms are lightly browned, then add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes & thyme.  Saute until mushrooms are soft, then top your pizza or fold into a calzone.
Yum...honestly I can eat them right out of the pan :)

As always I love to hear your comments...
What's your favorite pizza topping??