Thursday, June 28, 2012

Red, White, & Blue Jell-O

This is so easy and fun for kids for the 4th of July. There might not be an easier way to eat something patriotic than Jell-O and Cool Whip.

Red, White, and Blue Jell-O
Recipe Source: I can't remember where I found this idea...

1 - 3.2oz pkg Strawberry Jell-O
1 - 3.2oz pkg Blue Raspberry Jell-O
1 - 8 oz container Cool Whip

1. Prepare Jell-O as directed on the package in 2 separate 8x8 dished sprayed with baking spray. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on the Jell-O to prevent a skin from forming. 

2. After the Jell-O is set cut into 1 inch squares. Layer the Jell-O and Cool Whip in individual cups... Red Jell-O, Cool Whip, Red Jell-O, Cool Whip, and top with Blue Jell-O. Keep refrigerated.

I shared this at
Sweets for a Saturday
Too Cute Tuesday
Hearth & Soul
Totally Tasty Tuesday

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flag Cake

I made this cake so excited and it took longer than I thought it would because, as it turns out, my baking soda was old so my cake didn't rise as it should've. But it was tasty and looked so good. I was pretty proud of myself. Try it, its not as hard as you would think!

Independence Day Cake
Recipe Source:

The beginning of this post is about assembling the cake. You can use any white cake recipe but you need to use one that is pretty dense, a box mix will be too light and airy. The recipe I used is at the end of this post.

You will need 3 - 9inch layers. 1 blue, 1 red, and one left white.

Bake lay­ers accord­ing to recipe instructions. Let com­pletely cool. Level off the tops of cakes.

Once you have a red layer, a blue layer, and a white layer, you need to slice the red and white layer hor­i­zon­tally with a long, ser­rated knife or Wilton makes a tool made to slice your cakes in half, I found mine at Michaels but I know they have them at Wal-Mart. These lay­ers form the stripes of the cake.

Next, take one red half-layer, and one white half layer and stack them on top of one another. Take the blue layer that hasn't been cut and set it in front of you. Place the stacked red and white layer on top of the blue layer. Check that they are evenly cen­tered on top of one another.

Using a cir­cle tem­plate as a guide, cut a cir­cle exactly cen­tered through all three lay­ers of the blue, white, & red. For this you could use a lid or a small bowl about 5 inches across for a 9inch cake. Try to get as close to this mea­sure­ment as you can so the color ratio looks right. Cut care­fully and mak­e sure you get through all the layers.

Next, sep­a­rate the blue from the red and white lay­ers. Take the mid­dle out of the blue. You won’t use the blue circle, so set it aside. You now have a ring of blue. 

Now remove the out­side ring from the red & white lay­ers. You wont use these either so set them aside. You should have a 5-inch cir­cle con­sist­ing of 1 white half-layer, and 1 red half layer. This will be the top stripes of your flag cake.

To Assemble....

Take the white half-layer that doesnt have the circle out of the center and place it on your cake stand. Spread a layer of frost­ing over the top. Try to keep it as even as you can. Lay the red half-layer that doesnt have the circle cut out of it on top of the frost­ing, mak­e sure it's cen­tered. These make up the bot­tom two stripes of your flag. Frost like the last layer. Make it as even as you can.

Now take the blue donut like cir­cle and cen­ter it on top of the bot­tom stripes. Using a small spat­ula or knife, spread a thin layer of frost­ing around the inside of the blue ring. 

Take the white 5-inch cir­cle and set it inside the blue ring. Push it down as far as you dare so it doesnt break. You want it as even with the blue as you can get it. Spread a thin, thin layer of icing over the white that is inside the blue ring. Place the red cir­cle on top and press down care­fully, try­ing to make the top lay­ers even.

Frost your cake! Keep the cake refrig­er­ated until ready to serve.

White Cake 

**This cake makes 2 - 9 inch layers for the Flag Cake, you will need to make this recipe twice and divid­e and col­or­ as directed below before baking.

8 Table­spoons Unsalted But­ter, softened
1/2 cup Veg­etable Shortening
1 Table­spoon Bak­ing Powder
1 3/4 cup Gran­u­lated Sugar
3/4 tea­spoon Salt
2 tea­spoons Pure Vanilla Extract
5 large Egg Whites, room temp
2 3/4 cup Cake Flour, sifted
1 cup Milk, room temp

1. Pre­heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2- 9 inch cake pans. Place parch­ment in the bottom of each pan and grease the bot­tom again. Then tap flour all around the inside as well, tap­ping out the extra flour. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together but­ter and short­en­ing until very well incor­po­rated and very light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the bak­ing pow­der, sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat one more minute.

3. Add the egg whites one at a time, beat­ing very well and scrap­e down the sides in between each addi­tion. This should take about 5 min­utes. The mix­ture will be very fluffy and thick. Add about 1/4 of the flour, and then 1/3 of the milk. Add another 1/4 flour, another 1/3 milk until you add the last 1/4 cup of flour. Make sure all ingre­di­ents are well incor­po­rated, but don't over beat the bat­ter. 

4. Split your bat­ter in half and add the food col­or­ing at this time. I made one batch and col­ored 1/2 blue, and 1/2 red. It will take quite a bit, espe­cially of the red. To get the white layer you need to make a sec­ond batch of batter, leav­ing it white. You will have a left­over layer of white cake. Use a spat­ula to spread the bat­ter around evenly. 

5. Bake the two lay­ers in the oven for 27–32 min­utes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Remove pans from the oven and let cool 10 min­utes. Use a knife to loosen the edges and care­fully remove from pans and let fin­ish cool­ing on a wire rack. When the cake has cooled com­pletely, wrap it in plas­tic wrap and store in the fridge.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 - 8oz pkgs Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Unsalted But­ter, softened
1 lb Pow­dered Sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Whip together the cream cheese and but­ter until fluffy. Add the sifted pow­dered sugar. Mix on low until combined then add the vanilla and turn up to medium high until fluffy.

I shared this at...
Tutorial Tuesday! 
Sweets for a Saturday

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

My husbands favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake so I decided to change it up a bit by turning it into a trifle and adding bananas and vanilla pudding. It was sweet and creamy and the bananas compliment the strawberries so well. It turned out fantastic and I will be making it again soon.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
Recipe Source:

1 large pkg Vanilla pudding
3 cups cold Milk
1 - 9inch Angel Food Cake, cubed
4 Bananas, sliced
3 cups sliced Strawberries, about 24oz
1 - 8oz pkg Cool Whip

1. Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the package directions. Gently fold the cool whip into the pudding. 

2. In a trifle bowl place half of the cubed angel food cake, half of the pudding/cool whip mixture, half of the sliced bananas, and half of the sliced strawberries. Repeat but leave a little of the pudding mixture to top the trifle. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fiesta Chicken Burritos

This is one of the best crock-pot dinners I have ever made. Its so full of flavor. It makes enough to freeze some for later too.

Fiesta Chicken Burritos
Recipe Source: Taste of Home

4 Chicken Breasts
1 - 15.25oz can Corn, drained
1 - 15oz can Black Beans, Drained and rinsed
1 - 14.5oz can Diced Tomatoes
1 - 4oz can Green Chilies
3 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 - 8oz pkg Cream Cheese
8 flour tortillas, warmed

1. Place chicken in a greased slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, tomatoes, green chilies and seasonings. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

2. Remove chicken, let it cool slightly. Shred chicken with two forks and return to the slow cooker. Stir in cream cheese. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through.

3. Spoon 3/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Add additional toppings.

**Optional Toppings: Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce and Tomatoes

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

There aren't many things not to like about chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate chips, etc. So any way to get as much chocolate chip substance in one bite is totally worth it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes
Recipe Source:

3 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar, packed
4 large Eggs
2 2/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Cookie Dough Filling
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temp
6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
7 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Cookie Dough Frosting
3 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temp
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Milk
2 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. With a mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Alternate adding the dry ingredients to the mixer with the milk on low speed, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.

4. Blend in the vanilla. Then fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Divide the batter evenly between 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Cookie Dough Filling
1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

2. Add flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up. About 1 hour.

3. After cupcakes have cooled, fill the cupcakes by cutting a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

Cookie Dough Frosting
1. Beat butter and brown sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth. Then beat in the flour and salt.

2. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and combined. Frost cupcakes!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

5 or 7 Layer Dip

Because its been so hot lately I haven't been making many hot dinners. We only have a swamp cooler and it doesn't quite make the house cool enough for me to want to stand over a hot stove or put the oven on. So we have had this a few times. It's refreshing and satisfying enough for me to call it dinner. 

And because I'm so picky I only made mine with 5 layers but I put down the other ingredients just because I know not many people are as picky as I am. 

5 Layer Dip

1 - 16oz can Refried Beans
1 - 1oz pkg Taco Seasoning
1 cup Guacamole
1 - 8oz container Sour Cream
1 cup Salsa
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Optional: Diced Tomatoes, Olives, Green Onions
Tortilla Chips

1. In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans. Then in a 9x9 dish layer the items as follows...

Beans and Taco Seasoning
Sour Cream
Then if you want you can add the 
Diced Tomatoes, Green Onions, Olives
Store in the refrigerator until serving. Serve with chips.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Golden Graham S'mores

Golden Graham's are one of my favorite cereals and combined with marshmallows and chocolate, it cant really be beat in my mind. So when I saw this recipe it called to me. Really. I could hear it.

Golden Graham S'mores
Recipe Source:

1/4 cup Butter
1 - 10.5oz bag Mini Marshmallows, plus 2 cups
7 cups Golden Graham Cereal
2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips

1. Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray. Melt butter in a large stock pot over low heat.

2. Mix in the bag of marshmallows continue stirring until melted. Remove from heat and stir in Golden Graham cereal. Let sit for 2 minutes.

3. Pour in 2 cups of marshmallows and stir until combined then pour in milk chips and stir until combined. When completely mixed, pour into prepared pan and press evenly. Let cool before cutting into squares.

I shared this at
Tutorial Tuesday!
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