Thursday, November 18, 2010

THE Soccer Cake!

Time sure does have a way of flying by! Soccer games has been over for almost 2 weeks - and I am just getting around to posting a photo of the soccer cake that I made for our soccer party! It was so much fun to learn how to pipe the frosting on to the cake - thanks sis! My sister is an awesome cake maker/decorator, and taught me some of the basics to piping the frosting out. I think that it turned out pretty great for my first time, and ALL of the kids LOVED it! I love being a soccer mom!!! GO BEETLES!!! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake (or muffins!)

I have never used Stevia in baking...or really in anything, but my sister in law inspired me to try it out! So far, I have only tried one of the recipes that she gave to me, and I think that the muffins tasted great...although I did over-cook them a little bit since I forgot to shorten the baking time, since I made muffins instead of a bread! Oops!!! My boys did not really like the taste of them...maybe because they were not really moist or it was a taste that they are not used to. I am going to make them again...and I will remember to shorten the baking time!!! Try them out and tell me what you think!

Gingerbread Cake

1 cup buttermilk
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar (Substitute 1 tsp stevia and about 1/2 cup oats)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup molasses
1/4 cup boiling water

1. Mix all ingredients together. (I mixed wet together first, then added dry ingredients and then added the hot water)

2. Pour into pan - bread/can pan or muffins

3. Bake for 350 degrees for 35 minutes, if in a bread pan.
**I dropped the temperature down to 325 degrees and I would bake them for 15-20 minutes, so that they remain moist.

I would include a photo of the muffins, but I guess I forgot to take one! So, just imagine muffins with a dark brown color! YUM!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recipe: Chicken Cacciatore

This is a recipe from my cookbook, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. I have not made this version of the recipe before, but grew up with a similar version of it. However, I believe that this was the main (only?) slow cooker recipe that my mom made and was tired of it! I wanted to try new and different slow cooker recipes, which led me to find this cookbook, thanks to my friend Anne H. I have refrained from making this recipe for year, but I am tempted to try it again because this recipe in this cookbook is quite a bit different from what I grew up with and I like how they suggest to thicken the sauce. Enjoy!

Cooker: Medium or Large round or oval
Setting and Cook Time: HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or LOW for 6 to 7 hours

16 ounce jar Italian marinara sauce, such as tomato basil or about 2 cups of homemade marinara sauce**
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and sliced into half moons
1-3 cloves garlic, to your taste, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks, skin removed (or you can use 4 chicken quarters)
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 T all-purpose flour
2 T water (optional)
2 T dry white wine (optional - I always like to add wine when they call for it!)

1. Layer half of the tomato sauce and all of the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and chicken in the slow cooker (in that order). Sprinkle the mushrooms on top and cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through (180 degrees in the thigh), 2 1/2 to 3 hours on HIGH or 6 to 7 hours on LOW. The chicken will add some juices on its own to the dish.

2. Transfer the chicken to a warm platter. If you wish to thicken the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, water, and wine until smooth. Stir into the sauce in the cooker, turn the cooker to HIGH, cover, and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes (or transfer to a pot on the stove and cook there - be sure to stir constantly). Pour the sauce and vegetables over the chicken and serve.

**this is a little different from what I grew up with. I think it was more like add tomato sauce and then spices like basil etc.

I think that this always tastes good with rice or pasta - whatever suits your family's taste! If you try it out, please let me know what you think...and if I should give it another try!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

End of the Season...

The next two weeks wrap up Brady's first soccer season. It has definitely been a journey for all of us. Dawson was the coach, I was the team mom, Brady enjoyed soccer most days...but does not like bumping in the other kids(!), and Smiles was a wonderful encourager...and got to practice with the big kids at the last two practices!

Last night was the last practice. Saturday is the last game and the end of the season party, and then we have our awards ceremony on the 14th. I am excited to end the season with a party for the kids...and I am going to make a soccer ball cake for the kids! I will be piping the frosting all by myself! It will be the first cake that I have done on my own! My sister is also making one and will be teaching me how to do the frosting!

Today we bake!

Friday we frost!!

Saturday we PLAY, FEAST, and CELEBRATE!

**photos of the cake will be coming soon!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Homemade Frosting!

Saturday night, my husband got together with his two brothers to play a video game. Dawson decided to make a "box" cake to take with him to celebrate his oldest brother's birthday - which was actually on Sunday. Dawson mixed up the cake and took care of the was fun to watch him have fun in the kitchen again! :) However, when we looked for frosting, we realized that there was none in the house!

I was about to send Dawson out to the store to buy a new tub of frosting, but I decided to turn to my "Go-To" cookbook, How To Cook Everything, to see if there was a recipe to make your own frosting...and there was! I was so excited that I had all of the ingredients: butter, confectioner's sugar, milk, vanilla and unsweetened chocolate - since I wanted to make the chocolate butter cream version! It was really easy to make and tasted great too! I think that I may make my own butter cream frosting from now on!

Doesn't the cake look great! The boys helped Daddy put the rainbow sprinkles on top!