Friday, September 19, 2014

SUPER Easy Carrot Bundt Cake

I LOVE Bundt Cakes so I came up with this recipe & it turned out SUPER moist!  SOOOO  easy too!  I am not a huge "baker" so most baking recipes have to have box mixes & I will add to them to really pump up the flavor.
Here is what you need....

1 Carrot Cake Box mix...  any one on sale

1 regular box of instant French Vanilla Pudding

1 cup Sour Cream (Yes - sour cream)  you don't taste it but it's what makes this cake super moist.

4 eggs
3/4 c water
3/4 c vegetable or canola oil
about 1/2 cup shredded carrot (appx 1/2 of 1 carrot)...  if you don't have a carrot on hand - you can leave it out.

Frosting - Cream cheese frosting from a can.  I TOLD you I was not a huge baker...  you can make your own if using a canned frosting is not up to your standards ;)

Preheat oven to 350. & grease or spray Pam in your Bundt pan (even if its a non stick)

Everything (except frosting) & mix well.  You can use an electric mixer.
Pour in prepared bundt pan.

put on oven rack that is the second from the bottom.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 min.

Set in on a cooling rack or towel & let cool for at least 30 min....  cover with a plate & flip out.
Frost with Cream Cheese frosting.

~TIP~  I have not tried it but I bet 1/2 of the water could be replaced with pineapple juice for a big pop of flavor.

Try Carrot Cake in a birthday cake silicone mold!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Grilled Glazed Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 recipe glaze (see related content)


1. Dissolve salt and sugar in 1½ quarts cold water. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Combine milk powder and pepper in bowl.
2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour two thirds evenly over half of grill, then pour remaining coals over other half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to medium-high.
3. Clean and oil cooking grate. Sprinkle half of milk powder mixture over 1 side of chicken. Lightly spray coated side of chicken with oil spray until milk powder is moistened. Flip chicken and sprinkle remaining milk powder mixture over second side. Lightly spray with oil spray.
4. Place chicken, skinned side down, over hotter part of grill and cook until browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Flip chicken, brush with 2 tablespoons glaze, and cook until browned on second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Flip chicken, move to cooler side of grill, brush with 2 tablespoons glaze, and cook for 2 minutes. Repeat flipping and brushing 2 more times, cooking for 2 minutes on each side. Flip chicken, brush with remaining glaze, and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cuban Shredded Beef

Serves 4 to 6

Use a well-marbled chuck-eye roast in this recipe. When trimming the beef, don’t remove all visible fat—some of it will be used in lieu of oil later in the recipe. If you don’t have enough reserved fat in step 3, use vegetable oil.


  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry


1. Bring beef, 2 cups water, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt to boil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until beef is very tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. (Check beef every 30 minutes, adding water so that bottom third of beef is submerged.) While beef simmers, combine garlic, oil, and cumin in bowl. Combine orange juice and lime zest and juice in second bowl.
2. Remove lid from skillet, increase heat to medium, and simmer until water evaporates and beef starts to sizzle, 3 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to rimmed baking sheet. Pour off and reserve fat from skillet. Rinse skillet clean and dry with paper towels. Place sheet of aluminum foil over beef and, using meat pounder or heavy sauté pan, pound to flatten beef into 1/8-inch-thick pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat or connective tissue. (Some of beef should separate into shreds. Larger pieces that do not separate can be torn in half.)
3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons reserved fat in now-empty skillet over high heat. When fat begins to sizzle, add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown and charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Add sherry and 1/4 cup water and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion to bowl. Return skillet to high heat, add 1 1/2 teaspoons reserved fat, and heat until it begins to sizzle. Add beef and cook, stirring frequently, until dark golden brown and crusty, 2 to 4 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to low and push beef to sides of skillet. Add garlic mixture to center and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, add orange juice mixture and onion, and toss to combine. Season with pepper to taste. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Philly Cheesesteaks

Serves 4

If skirt steak is unavailable, substitute sirloin steak tips (also called flap meat). Top these sandwiches with chopped pickled hot peppers, sautéed onions or bell peppers, sweet relish, or hot sauce.







  • 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and sliced with grain into 3-inch-wide strips
  • 4 (8-inch) Italian sub rolls, split lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 slices white American cheese (8 ounces)


1. Place steak pieces on large plate or baking sheet and freeze until very firm, about 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread split rolls on baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Using sharp knife, shave steak pieces as thinly as possible against grain. Mound meat on cutting board and chop coarsely with knife 10 to 20 times.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half of meat in even layer and cook without stirring until well browned on 1 side, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer meat to colander set in large bowl. Wipe out skillet with paper towel. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sliced meat.
5. Return now-empty skillet to medium heat. Drain excess moisture from meat. Return meat to skillet (discard any liquid in bowl) and add salt and pepper. Heat, stirring constantly, until meat is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle with Parmesan, and shingle slices of American cheese over meat. Allow cheeses to melt, about 2 minutes. Using heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, fold melted cheese into meat thoroughly. Divide mixture evenly among toasted rolls. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Crown Roast of Pork Family Dinner

Serves 10 to 12

A crown roast is 2 bone-in pork loin roasts, with the rib bones frenched and chine bones removed, that have been tied into a crown shape. This can be difficult to do, so ask your butcher to make this roast for you. We wrap extra kitchen twine around the widest part of roast to provide more support when flipping. Use potatoes that measure 1 to 2 inches in diameter.


  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8- to 10-pound) pork crown roast
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 10 ounces shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and halved
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  1. 1. Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, thyme, rosemary, and garlic in bowl; reserve 2 teaspoons for vegetables. Pat pork dry with paper towels and rub with remaining herb salt. Wrap kitchen twine twice around widest part of roast and tie tightly. Refrigerate roast, covered, for 6 to 24 hours.
    2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Place V-rack inside large roasting pan. Toss potatoes, shallots, apples, 4 tablespoons butter, and reserved herb salt in large bowl and transfer to pan. Arrange roast bone side down in V-rack and brush with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Roast until meat is well browned and registers 110 degrees, about 1 hour.
    3. Remove roast from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Using 2 bunches of paper towels, flip roast bone side up. Add apple cider to pan and return to oven, rotating direction of pan. Roast until meat registers 140 degrees, 30 to 50 minutes. Place meat on carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Transfer apple halves to blender, and potatoes and shallots to bowl. Pour pan juices into fat separator, let liquid settle for 5 minutes, and then pour into blender. Add chicken broth to blender with apples and pan juices and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to sauce medium saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm. Remove twine from roast, slice meat between bones, and serve with vegetables and sauce.

Crown Roast of Pork

When roasted directly on a roasting pan, the perimeter of a crown roast overcooks by the time the interior ring is done. Here’s how we solved that problem and produced evenly cooked pork.
Using kitchen twine, make two loops around the widest part of the roast and tie securely to help the crown hold its shape when flipped.
Place the pork bone side down on the V-rack and adjust the bones to steady the roast. Roast about 1 hour, until meat is 110 degrees.
Using paper towels to protect your hands, flip the hot roast bone side up and set it back on the V-rack to finish cooking in a gentle oven.

Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus 

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

Avoid pencil-thin asparagus for this recipe. Work quickly when tossing the asparagus with the egg whites, as the salt will rapidly begin to deflate the whites.


  • 2 pounds (1/2-inch-thick) asparagus, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Using fork, poke holes up and down stalks of asparagus. Toss asparagus with ½ teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes on a paper towel–lined baking sheet.
    2. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup Parmesan, bread crumbs, butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in bowl. Transfer half of bread-crumb mixture to shallow dish and reserve remaining mixture. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and honey on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape into 13 by 9-inch baking dish and toss asparagus in mixture. Working 1 spear at a time, dredge half of asparagus in bread crumbs and transfer to baking sheet. Refill shallow dish with reserved bread-crumb mixture and repeat with remaining half of asparagus.
    3. Bake asparagus until just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan and continue to bake until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to platter. Serve.

Making the Coating Stick

POKE Perforating and salting the asparagus draws out excess moisture that could saturate the crumbs.
COAT Whipped egg whites help the crumbs adhere. Honey adds flavor and extra sticking power.
DREDGE Working one spear at a time keeps the bread crumbs from clumping.