Yellow Cake and Frosting!!!

What's nicer than a cake for a special occasion! I made this today and it's pretty darn delicious! Keep in mind that this is just one recipe, and it may not be your thing. Shortening is kind of creepy, but this turned out yummy!

Yellow Cake

2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soft shortening
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 375DgF. Grease and flour a 9x13x2-inch pan; set aside.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and 3/4 cup of the milk. Stir to dampen the flour, then beat 300 vigorous strokes.

3. Add the remaining milk, unbeaten eggs, and vanilla. Beat 150 vigorous strokes.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake may be cooled and frosted in the pan, or after ten minutes it may be removed to a wire rack to cool.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
about 8 teaspoons milk (or enough to make it spreadable)
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt

1. Let butter stand at room temperature until soft.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and butter. Add milk a little at a time, stirring until frosting is creamy and of spreading consistency.

3. Add vanilla and salt. Spread on cooled cake. Enjoy!!!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Baking Illustrated

I love Baking Illustrated! I highly recommend it if you like to get into the whys and hows of food! These cookies have a very prominent butterschotch flavor along with the chocolate. They are the big kind like you get in cookie shops!

Thikc and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks butter), melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325DgF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars with an electric mixer or by hand until well blended. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and blend well.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

5. Form dough by scant 1/4 cupfulls into a smooth ball. Holding the ball in the fingertips of both hands, pull it apart into two equal halves. Turn the halves 90 degrees so that the jagged surfaces are facing up. Rejoin the halves at the base into a single ball, being careful not to smooth the jagged top.

6. Place cookies 1-1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are set and centers are soft and puffy. Cool cookies on the baking sheet. Remove with a wide metal spatula.

These cookies are best served warm from the oven, but will retain their chewiness even when cool. Happy baking!

Lemonade Cubes

Few things say summer quite like an ice cold glass of lemonade! This is a tasty and convenient way to get that lemonade. The only thing I'm not too crazy about is the amount of sugar used. I may do some experimenting with some other kinds of fruit juice in place of the sugar water combo. This would be a good way to cut down on the sugar and get interesting and tasty varieties of lemonade. But for now:

Lemonade Cubes

1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on sweetness desired
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. Add lemon juice. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen, cubes may be removed to a resealable plastic bag to free the ice cube tray for other use. To make lemonade, combine 2 cubes and 1 cup cold water in a glass and stir to dissolve the cubes. Enjoy!

Basic Meatballs

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large egg
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup Italian herbed breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400DgF. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together. Form by tablespoonfuls into balls and place in a single layer in a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Drain off excess fat and use meatballs as desired.

These are pretty tasty! I simmered them for a few minutes in spaghetti sauce after I took them from the oven. You could also use them with whatever kind of sauce you like, barbecued meatballs, Swedish meatballs, yummy! I didn't have Italian herbed breadcrumbs, so I put 1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal in the blender with some dried oregano, basil, and garlic powder and gave it a few pulses. It worked great! These meatballs also freeze well. What could be easier! You need to make some, trust me, you do!

Easy Blueberry Oven Pancake

This is a nice way to make pancakes for a few people all at once. It's a little different than typical griddle cakes, fluffier and a bit more cakey. Yum!

2 cups biscuit mix, such as bisquick
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oil
2 eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 425DgF. Grease a jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except blueberries until smooth. Fold in blueberries. Pour into prepared pan and bake 14-16 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cut into 12 pieces. Serve with butter and syrup.

I didn't have a jelly roll pan. I used a 8-inch square pan and baked it for 20 minutes. I cut this into about 6 pieces. I think a 9-inch pie pan would work well too, and you could cut wedges. Enjoy this!

Yummy Healthy Breakfast

So once again I'm embarking on one of my eat healthier missions, you know, the ones that begin with the best of intentions and last a week or two? But here's an idea for a healthy and tasty breakfast that I've been enjoying the past few days! And thanks to Sarah for the oatmeal idea!

Yummy Breakfast

1/2 cup plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen blueberries, sliced bananas, or diced fresh peaches
scattering of uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats

Stir the honey into the yogurt. Gently stir in the fresh fruit. Sprinkle the top with the oats. Enjoy!

My New Project!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to tell you about the new project I'm involved in with my friends Timm, Lauren, and Terry! We've been writing and recording, well mostly Lauren and Timm have been writing songs, and we're releasing a new song each week on our myspace page! You can listen to 30 second samples right now and the songs are each a dollar if you like them. I'm hoping to talk the guys into actually putting a full song or two up there soon, but for now, 30 seconds is what you get! You can also read the weekly blog entries and view pictures from the sessions. Visit our page! This is meant to be a relaxed outlet for our creativity, hence the name No Pressure Project, and we couldn't ask for anything more than that you give it a listen and that maybe it moves you in some way. If you have a myspace page of your own, let's be friends! Enjoy, and thanks in advance!

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes

3 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 oz. each)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
large pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325DgF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour the tins; set aside.

In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Slowly add the sugar, beating until very light and thick. Beat in the chocolate mixture, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes until tops are shiny and edges are set but centers are still quite soft, 25-30 minutes. Cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Teriyaki Marinade

I just made this and poured some over a couple chicken breasts and marinated them for a while, and they were yummy! You should try it!

Teriyaki Marinade

1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients in a baking dish or ziplock bag. Ad 2 to 3 pounds beef, pork, or chicken, turning to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no more than 24 hours, turning meat occasionally. Remove meat and cook as desired.

I bet the meat would be wonderful grilled! I sealed two marinated chicken breasts in a foil pouch and cooked them in the oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. they were really yummy with rice!