Friday, July 24, 2009

Yogurt Popsicles



Want to sneak some extra calcium into your kids diet...the hubby or SO perhaps?
Ok, ok, its just an excuse to make something yummy.
I just tell myself its yogurt so I can have two.
These frozen, sweet treats are superbly customizable to any flavor you prefer.
So, try them out...and save some money by making your own in the process!

What you'll need:

~18 oz. yogurt, your favorite flavor (I used 2 containers of organic vanilla yogurt and one blueberry)

~6 oz. frozen fruit juice concentrate, again any flavor you like (I used half of a 12 oz. Welch's Passion Fruit blend right out of the container)

~approx. 4 oz. your choice of fruit, pureed (I used half strawberries and half blackberries)

~1/2 c. fruit juice (I used Acai, but anything full-flavored will do)

~5 oz. disposable cups or popsicle molds and popsicle sticks
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I suggest using an immmersion blender for combining your ingredients, but a food processor would work similarly.
You just want everything smooooooth.

Taste your mixture to see if you like it, don't eat it all with a spoon.
Adjust as necessary (more fruit, etc.).
Pour into 5 oz. disposable cups like shown in my picture or be all hoity-toity and get some real popsicle molds.

The popsicle sticks (from any craft store) should stand up nice and straight in the mixture since its pretty thick.



Freeze overnight or several hours and enjoy!
If the popsicles don't seem to want to release, carefully and quickly run the cup under some hot water, being careful not to get water on your popsicle.

These rock as far as flavor, so fruity and creamy.
A much better option than a standard popsicle!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chocolate cake doesn't need a reason.



There are days when nothing else will suffice but a slab of chocolate cake and a glass of cold milk.
Today was one of those days.
mmmmmmm....caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake...

Problem is, all I had on hand was a box of cake mix and a tub of chocolate frosting that was meant for cake balls.
Disclaimer: This is not homemade cake, this is the necessity that came from a chocolate fit of desperation.
So, to gussy up the mix, this is what I added to it:

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs

Split up the batter into two 8" greased cake pans and bake according to the box directions.
Please try not to overbake your cakes, this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, chocolate burns so easily, ick....so don't like tick me off or anything.
thanks.

Let the cakes cool off for about 10 minutes or so until you can handle the pans without burning your fingerprints off.
Wrap them up in plastic wrap and stick in the frig untill they are totally cool.

heh...I said "totally cool"...man.

When they are...totally cool...unwrap one and place it on your cake plate.
Don't have a cake plate?
Go get one, ya heathen!

Okay, so schmear a little bit of the frosting on the top of the first layer. Not too much now or your won't have enough for the rest of the cake. Top off with the other cake layer and finish frosting.

Dude...I sound like my mom.
Do I always sound so bossy in recipe instructions?

I like cake more than frosting I think, so I only used one regular sized tub of frosting for the cake.
When frosted, top with some toasted walnuts, oooh, or pecans!


Now embrace the chocolate that is...cake.
You all must excuse me now, I have a date with a fork.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicken Mexicali



So, you've got some boneless, skinless chicken and you're thinking..."Not grilled chicken...again."
Well, Im here to help you out.

Do you have a pressure cooker?
No?
You big baby, its not going to blow up, just go get one already.
I can hear you telling me that you have a crockpot.
Well, big, fat, hairy deal...I don't want my Chicken Mexicali in 8 hours, I want it in 20 minutes.
So, go get a pressure cooker and join me for homecooked, crockpot taste in like 1/100th of the time!

In your pressure cooker (on medium heat):

2-3 T. olive oil, get this hot in pot first then add:

approx. 24 oz. bonelss, skinless chicken breasts (I had about 4 good sized pieces)
16 oz. jar of your favorite salsa
1 sm. rough chopped onion
1 tsp. ground cumin, onion powder, pepper, garlic
1 1/2 c. water

Make sure the chicken isn't stuck to the bottom of your pot before you put the lid on.
Oh and wipe the rim where it seals if there is any oil, condensation or gunk you spilled.
The seal likes to be clean and dry to pressure up.
Over medium-high heat, bring your cooker up to a medium rock (which means, it isn't rocking like grampa, but it isn't rocking so hard its about to rock itself into next week either. If its going like gang-busters, turn down the heat. If its barely moving turn the heat up a titch) for 20 minutes.

Turn off heat and either let the pot pressure down on its own or carefully pick it up and set it in the sink and run cold water over the lid until it depressurizes (which takes about 30 seconds).

At this point, I like to start some rice.

Last night, I toasted 1 1/2 cups instant rice in a couple tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes then added 1 1/2 cups water and removed it from the heat.
Before I put the lid on, I add a dash salt, garlic, pepper, cumin and onion powder.
Put the lid on and let it sit for 5 minutes.
You can make regular long grain rice too, but I was starving and didn't want to wait.

...You're probably getting the clue by now that Im very impatient.

Remove the cooker lid and take out the chicken from the sauce and place on a surface that you can shred the meat on.
Throw some of that sauce (I used about a cup) in with your rice.
Voila! Spanish rice!



Add the shredded chicken back into the cooker with the remaining sauce and stir, the chicken will absorb most, if not all, of the sauce.
At this point, you can serve it in tacos, burritos, on top of nachos, whatever!
Its hella good, lemme tell ya.

This is how I like it, layer of rice, layer of chicken, layer of cheese...melt in the microwave real quick like, serve with chips, sour cream, etc...nom!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Banana Split Dessert



Oh, sorry, the piece I took out didn't make it to the photo shoot. A moment of silence, please?
If any dessert screams summer, this one has the pipes to alert the whole neighborhood.

What you'll need:

crust:
1 skid of graham crackers, crushed
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted

Mix and pat into a 9 x 13 glass dish, place in the freezer while you assemble the rest of the layers.



1st layer:
2 pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. powdered sugar



Blend with a hand mixer till it's smooth, smooth, smooth!
This layer gets spread right on top the frozen crust....oh, baby.



Next...2nd layer:
two 4oz. pkgs. instant vanilla pudding (not cook and serve, this is imperative!)
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream

Add the pudding to the milk in a large mixing bowl (I used the same one I had for the cream cheese layer, no cleaning required) and mix with a whisk till it begins to thicken, then whisk in the sour cream.
This layer goes on top of the cream cheese layer.
Nom on top of nom!




okay, next drain a 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple.
Drain it well, if you have to get your hand in the can and squeeze the juice out...well, just drain it really well.

Sprinkle...no...spread?...no...well, whatever you do...layer the pineapple on top of the pudding layer. (if you hate pineapple, you can leave this out)

Next, slice about 3 bananas and layer those on top of the pineapple.



Top the whole she-bang with whipped cream or Cool-Whip, whatever your poison.
I ended up using almost all of a 16 oz. Cool-Whip container.
Then at this point you've got some decisions to make...marachino cherries? chopped nuts? chocolate syrup?
Whatever you do, it won't be bad...trust me.
Try to refrigerate this for a few hours before you serve it so its nice and firm.

...great googly moogly.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sooooooooooooooon!

I promise, more food fun soon. Life happens and gets me all distracted and discombobulated and then I get lazy.

But, I will reward your patience with something so scrumptuously sublime you'll forget all about me neglecting you for so long.
Much love...the lazy cook.

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