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Friday, July 30, 2010

Strawberry Creme Cake

Ingredients:
Cake:
* Butter, for greasing pans
* Flour, for flouring pans
* 1 (18.25-ounce) box strawberry cake mix
* 1 (11.5-ounce) can strawberry nectar
* 3 eggs
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Filling and Frosting:
* 1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned
* 1 cup strawberry jam, divided
* 1 (16-ounce) container strawberry frosting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Combine cake mix, nectar, eggs, and oil in large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on cooling racks for 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling rack and cool completely.

Thinly slice enough strawberries to yield 1 1/4 cups. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half, forming 4 layers in total. Place 1 cake layer, cut side down, on a serving platter. Spread 1/3 cup jam over top of cake layer. Arrange 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries in a single layer atop jam. Top with second cake layer, cut side down. Repeat layering with jam and sliced strawberries. Top with third cake layer, cut side down. Repeat layering with jam and sliced strawberries. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread frosting evenly over top and sides of cake to coat completely. Arrange remaining 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and 1 whole strawberry decoratively atop cake. Refrigerate cake for 40 minutes. Serve cake with remaining whole strawberries.

Yield 8 to 10 servings.

~~Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, 2003~~

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:
* 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
* 2 cups sugar, divided
* 1/2 cup water
* 8 tablespoons butter
* 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* Ground cinnamon, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.

Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Yield 8 to 10 servings.

~~Paula Deen~~

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hummingbird Cake

Ingredients:
* Unsalted butter, for greasing
* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 1 cup pecan pieces
* 3 ripe bananas, chopped
* 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup vegetable oil

For the Frosting:

* 2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), at room temperature
* 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and dust with flour.

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then roughly chop. Toss with the bananas, pineapple and 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl.

Whisk the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Beat the eggs and granulated sugar in a separate bowl with a mixer on high speed until thick and light, 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the vegetable oil.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture, then gently fold to make a thick batter. Fold in the pecan-fruit mixture, then transfer the batter to the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pans on a rack, 25 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer until fluffy, then gradually beat in the butter until combined. Sift the confectioners' sugar over the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread about half of the frosting on top, then cover with the other cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

Serves 10 to 12.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles

Ingredients:
* 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed (about 20 spears)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
* Pinch kosher salt
* Pinch freshly ground black pepper
* 4 to 6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (1 slice per asparagus spear)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay the asparagus on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast until cooked and starting to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to another baking sheet to cool.

Once the asparagus have cooled, wrap each spear in a slice of smoked salmon. Arrange on a serving platter and serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 6.

~~Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian~~

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hidden Kisses

Ingredients:
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
* 1 (9-ounce) package chocolate candy kisses (recommended: Hershey's Kisses)
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in the flour and blend well. Add the pecans and blend well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Unwrap the candy kisses. Press a scant tablespoon of dough around each kiss, covering it completely; shape into balls.

Place the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Roll the cookies in confectioners' sugar.

Yields: 4 dozen.

~~Paula Deen, Paula's Home Cooking~~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hidden Mint Cookies

Ingredients:
* 18-ounce roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, sliced 1/4-inch thin
* 14-ounce package chocolate mint wafers
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, or enough to cover top of cookies

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slightly grease a cookie sheet. Place slices of sugar cookies on sheet, about 2 to 3 inches apart. Top each with a chocolate wafer. Cover wafer with another slice of cookie dough. Brush dough with a beaten egg. Press nuts into top of dough. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Yield: 20 cookies.

~~ Paula Deen, Paula's Home Cooking~~

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 3/4 cup cake flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 4 large eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:
* 1 cup sugar
* 4 large egg whites
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* Pinch of salt
* 2 bags Earl Grey tea

Directions:
Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 24-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Whisk until smooth, then remove the bowl; keep the water simmering in the saucepan. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, flour and salt; mix into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla until smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared cups, filling each three-quarters of the way. Bake until the cakes spring back when touched, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing: Whisk the sugar, egg whites, lemon juice and salt by hand in the bowl of a stand mixer. Empty the tea bags and add the loose tea to the bowl, then set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot and the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag, snip the corner and pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.

Makes 48 mini cupcakes.

~~Food Network Magazine~~

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baked Shrimp-Crab Salad

Ingredients:
* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 cup finely chopped celery
* 1 (6-ounce) can crabmeat, picked free of any broken shells
* 1 (4-ounce) can medium shrimp
* 3/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 cup buttered cracker crumbs or bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium casserole dish or medium glass baking dish with butter.

In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, and celery. Add the crabmeat and shrimp, and then the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, tossing gently with a plastic spatula to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle crumbs over top. Bake until a golden brown crust develops, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

~~Paula Deen, Paula's Home Cooking~~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cucumber Tea Sandwich Flowers

Ingredients:
* 1 (8-ounce) container salmon cream cheese spread
* 2 teaspoons capers, minced
* 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
* 30 slices thinly sliced white bread (recommended: Sara Lee)
* 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions:
Special equipment: Medium sized star pastry tip.

In a small mixing bowl, combine salmon cream cheese, capers, chives and lemon juice. Stir to combine thoroughly.

Make a pastry bag by cutting a small triangle out of the bottom corner of a large zip-top bag. Place a medium sized star pastry tip on the inside of bag and fit tightly into hole. Hold pastry bag upright with 1 hand and scoop salmon cream cheese mixture into the bag with other hand. Secure top and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small bowl, blend the butter and tarragon and set aside.

To make sandwiches, spread tarragon butter on 2 slices of bread and place 6 to 8 cucumber slices between them. Repeat to make 15 sandwiches. Use a 3-inch flower shaped cookie cutter to stamp out sandwich flowers.

Arrange sandwiches on serving platter. Remove pastry bag from refrigerator and pipe salmon cream cheese mixture on top of each sandwich flower.

Makes about 30 sandwiches.

~~Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee~~

Monday, July 12, 2010

Smoked Salmon Spread

Ingredients:
* 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
* 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced

Directions:
Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudites or crackers.

If you can find it, I prefer Norwegian salmon; it's drier and less salty than other smoked salmon.

~~Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style~~

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scandinavian Pecan Cookies

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 egg, separated
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions:
* In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk. Gradually add flour until blended.
* Shape into 1-in. balls. In a small bowl, beat egg white. Dip balls in egg white, then roll in pecans. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 375° for 8-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from pans to
* cool on wire racks.

Yield: 5 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 121 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 66 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Quick Cooking | May/June 1998~~

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Ingredients:
* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
* In a chilled small glass bowl and using chilled beaters, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 2 cups.

Nutritional Analysis: 2 tablespoons equals 57 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 6 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, trace protein.

~~Sweetened Whipped Cream published in "Complete Guide to Baking", p143~~

Monday, July 5, 2010

Traditional Eclairs

Ingredients:
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 4 eggs

FILLING:
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
* 2 egg yolks
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* Confectioners' sugar or chocolate frosting

Directions:
* In a large saucepan, bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at one; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth and shiny.
* Insert a 3/4-in. round tip into a pastry bag or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; add batter. Pipe into 12 strips (about 3 in. long) 3 in. apart on a greased baking sheet.
* Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape; cool.
* For filling, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan; gradually add milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
* Stir 1 cup hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool.
* Split puffs; remove and discard soft dough from inside. Fill eclairs just before serving. Replace tops; dust with confectioners' sugar or spread with frosting. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 1 dozen.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 211 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 136 mg cholesterol, 183 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein.

~~Quick Cooking March/April 1999~~

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Watermelon Cookies

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
* 1 can (12 ounces) whipped vanilla frosting
* Red and green food coloring
* Miniature chocolate chips
Directions:
* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream, beating well after each addition. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
* On a heavily floured surface, roll out half of the dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 3-in. round cookie cutter; cut circles in half. Repeat with remaining dough.
* Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. Cool on wire racks.
* Place two-thirds of the frosting in bowl; add red food coloring. Add green food coloring to the remaining frosting. Spread pink frosting on tops of cookies. Frost the edges with green frosting, using a pastry bag with a small star tip if desired. Place chocolate chips randomly over the pink frosting for seeds.

Yield: about 8-1/2 dozen.

~~ Quick Cooking July/August 1998~~

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:
* 4 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 1 cup(s) sugar
* 2 tablespoon(s) sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1 1/4 cup(s) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
* 1/4 cup(s) vegetable shortening
* 1 teaspoon(s) vinegar
* 12 tablespoon(s) cold water
* 3 pint(s) fresh blueberries, stems removed
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) ginger, fresh-grated
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
* 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon(s) cream

Directions:
1. Make the dough: Combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening using a pastry blender, two knives, or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the vinegar and the water -- a few tablespoons at a time as necessary -- and mix until just combined. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into 2 equal-size disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

2. Make the pie: Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll 1 pastry disk on a lightly floured surface into a 1/16-inch-thick circle at least 12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a pie plate and trim the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang; fold the overhanging pastry under itself and pinch the dough to crimp it around the rim. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Blind-bake the shell until lightly brown -- about 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for 10 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Roll the second pastry disk on a lightly floured surface into a 1/16-inch-thick circle at least 12 inches in diameter. Cover and refrigerate. Toss the blueberries with the ginger, zest, lemon juice, and 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl. Transfer the blueberry mixture to the prepared piecrust and drape the reserved dough over the pie and crimp the edges to seal. Lightly brush the top crust with the cream and sprinkle with remaining sugar, if desired. Cut slits into the top of the pie and loosely cover the crimped edge of the crust with strips of foil to prevent overbrowning. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until the blueberry filling bubbles and piecrust is golden brown -- about 45 minutes.

Serves 10.

~~Country Living Magazine~~