Monday, June 18, 2012

Triple Layer Apple Cake

My favorite cookbook in the entire world is A Pinch of Salt Lake, it was published by the Junior League back in the '80's. Every single recipe in it is delicious, I love it so much I tracked down used copies off of Amazon and bought a copy for each of my children (it's since gone out of print...what a shame... I was able to buy the almost new books for approximately a $1 apiece!!) 

One of my favorite recipes in the book is for this delicious Apple Cake, it is so incredibly moist and tasty. My father in law requests that I make it on special occasions and since yesterday was Father's Day, it was on the menu. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. 

Ingredients for Cake
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups, finely chopped tart apples ( I use my food processor)
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs

Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In a small bowl combine chopped apple, nuts and lemon peel. In a standing mixer combine oil, sugar and eggs, beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients mixing until smooth. INcorporate apple mixture, stir until well combined. Spread evenly into prepared bans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until surface springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then cool thoroughly on wire rack

Ingredients for Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c butter, softened
16 ounces powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c finely chopped walnuts

Prepare frosting by creaming together all ingredients except nuts. Frost between layers and do a thin coat on sides and top. Refrigerate until chilled, then using remaining frosting frost a thicker layer on cake. (this helps keeps the crumbs in the frosting to a minimum) Press nuts around sides and top of cake. Refrigerate until serving time. 

Ingredients for cake

Chopping the apples

Apples, nuts and lemon peel

Adding dry ingredients to sugar, oil and eggs

Thick consistency

Adding in the apples

Ready for the oven

Frosting ingredients

Triple layers baby!

So pretty

It tastes so delicious


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Restaurant Style Salsa

I don't know why it is every time I go into a Mexican restaurant I swear I'm going to eat healthy...but it never happens. As soon as I sit down and the warm chips and salsa appear I lose myself in the experience. Food just seems to taste better when there are sombreros hanging on the walls and margaritas are flowing. Don't you agree?

This recipe is for restaurant style salsa, you know the kind, pureed and spicy. I couldn't believe how quickly it came together, one minute the ingredients were on my counter, the next I was shoveling salsa down my throat.

My salsa came out super spicy and that's because I kept the jalapeno seeds in, so if you want a milder version make sure you remove the seeds.

14 oz can diced tomatoes
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes, original
1/2 small onion,
1 jalapeno, seeds removed if you want milder salsa
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
3/4 c cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime

Place all ingredients into either food processor or blender. Let blend for 30 seconds or until desired consistency.

That's it! Super simple and delicious! Serve with chips or your favorite mexican meal.


Friday, June 15, 2012

"Good Tomato Soup"

I know tomato soup isn't one of the top choices for summertime meals, but believe need to try this one. My husband asked for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner with "good tomato soup"... and this is what I came up with. This soup is so tasty and fresh that you will love it regardless of the temperature outside. You can always omit the seafood and just have 'plain' tomato soup, I promise either way is delicious.

6 TBSP melted butter
1 onion, diced
1 46 oz bottle tomato juice
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 TBSP chicken base
3 TBSP sugar
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
1 c cooking sherry (you can sub chicken broth or water if you don't want the alcohol)
1 1/2 c fat free half and half (you can use full heavy cream...but why??)
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh basil
Seafood Medley (shrimp, calamari, mussels, or any other seafood) I used about a pound of seafood

Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Add seafood and bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. (make sure seafood is cooked through)  Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste.
Seafood Medley from Sam's Club
Saute onion in butter
Ready for seafood
The smell of the fresh parsley and basil was divine!
Dump it in the soup


Adapted from Pioneer Woman 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Easy Shredded Chicken

Ever wonder how restaurants and deli's have perfectly shredded chicken? Here is the answer..use your Kitchen Aid mixer!

Take boneless cooked chicken and place into your mixer. Turn on. That's it..... perfectly shredded chicken every time. Now you are ready to add it to your favorite this Chicken Salad or Spicy Southwest Chicken Salad or Chicken Enchiladas 

I've used boiled chicken breasts
Into the Kitchen Aid they go
Turn it on low
Voila, perfect shredded chicken


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spicy Southwest Chicken Salad

The best part about summertime is the plethora of amazing salad recipes! When I came across this one I knew it was a keeper. The flavors are so yummy and the crunch from the corn, onion, jalapeno and chips is amazing. This is a must make for your next salad craving.
The original recipe didn't call for the jalapeno or the spicy version of the ranch dressing, but I definitely think these are a must.

Ingredients for the salad
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 red pepper, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet yellow corn {canned or frozen and defrosted}
2 roma tomatoes, diced
half red onion, chopped
2 large romaine hearts, washed and chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
Sliced olives
1 seeded and chopped jalapeno 
2  ripe avocados, diced
2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Ingredients for the dressing
1/2 c mayonnaise
2/3 c Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoon spicy ranch seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 tablespoon lime juice {optional}
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, stir all salad ingredients together, excluding the tortilla chips and avocado. 
In a small bowl, stir all dressing ingredients together until smooth. When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing then gently stir in avocado and tortilla chips. Makes 4 large servings. 

Chopped and ready to go
Dry mixes
blending the mayo and greek yogurt together
chill in fridge until ready to use
Before the dressing mix up all ingredients
So pretty!