Monday, April 28, 2008

Ina's Lemon Yogurt Cake

I've recently discovered Barefoot Contessa on Food Network and I just love Ina! All of the recipes I've tried and tricks come out so well!

I made her Lemon Yogurt Cake this past weekend. I made blackberry sauce instead of blueberry. It's the same recipe, but just use a different fruit!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

BBQ "Pulled" Chicken Sandwiches

Another easy crockpot meal! If you're a fan of pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, this is even better!

Here's what you'll need:
1 bottle of Coca-Cola
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (frozen is OK)
1/2 jar of Jalapeno Jelly

Place all of the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Once cooked, drain all of the liquid and shred the chicken.

Place the chicken back in the crock pot. Set the crock on 'warm'.

1/2 bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
1 Tablespoon of brown mustard

Stir and allow to warm. Serve on a Kaiser roll.

Rotisserie Chicken

If you don't have one, run out and get yourself a rotisserie set for your grill. It's the best $25 you'll spend. Probably the easiest thing to make is rotisserie chicken. You can find endless recipes for the chicken, but here's what I did this weekend.
Grab yourself a whole chicken. I know, it's kinda scary. Make sure you remove the bag of giblets from the cavity. Rinse the chicken and cavity with warm water.

Here's what you'll need:
One whole roasting chicken
4 garlic cloves
1 bottle of beer
1/2 cup of chicken broth

Place the chicken on a sheet pan. Sprinkle the Creole Seasoning all over the chicken and gently rub the seasoning all over the chicken. Place the garlic cloves in the cavity of the chicken. Tie up the wings and legs with kitchen twine and place the chicken on the spit rod.

Take a 9x13 metal baking pan and place it in the center of the grill. Pour the beer into the metal pan. Place the chicken/spit rod onto the grill. Turn the grill on...leaving the center burner off. Keep the temperature at about 250 degrees.

Let the chicken cook for about 1.5 hours. Baste the chicken with the chicken broth. Let cook for another 1.5 hours, basting every so often.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the spit and let it rest on a sheet pan for about 5 minutes before carving.

The Macaroni & Cheese Project: Recipe 003

When I was in Tennessee, I had this fabulous and macaroni and cheese made in a crock pot. I've tried emailing the lady who made it for her recipe, but to no avail. So, I did some searching and it seems like the ingredients for crock pot macaroni and cheese is basically the same throughout various recipes.

I must have a super-powered crock pot because after 5 hours, it was nearly burnt around the edges and a little dry. I suggest 3-4 hours.
Here's the recipe.

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
4 cups(16 ounces) shredded sharp Chedder Cheese
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Place the cooked macaroni in crockpot that has been sprayed with nonstick cookingspray. Add the remaining ingredents, all except 1 cup of the cheese, mix well. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and then cover and cook on low settingfor 5 to 6 hours or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir until it has finished cooking.

Easy. The most difficult step was boiling and cooking the noodles!

Dry and chunky. I blame this on my crockpot. I think if I shut it off around 3-4 hours, it would have been a lot creamier.

Again, with only 1 cheese, it's a bit on the bland side. Salt helped.

This gets dry once reheated. A small dot of butter is required to get the creaminess back.

I'm indifferent on this one. I would like to retry it with the shorter time on the crock. I give this recipe 3 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Cookbook...

I'm putting together a cookbook. I plan on selling it for $17.50. My cookbook will have bright, glossy pages, easy to follow instructions, and lots of ideas!

The cookbook will contain lots of photos and original recipes. If you're interesed in purchasing a cookbook or contributing a recipe and photo, please contact me.

Pre-orders must email me at: