Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Cherry-Guinness Topping

I bought some fresh cherries at Kroger the other day.  So when I was thinking about what kind of cake to make for my friend and I's double birthday party, I thought about Black Forest Cake.  Yum.  I found  cake recipe online somewhere and made the chocolate cake part, then I made a cherry sauce out of the fresh cherries and some Guinness.  I don't like whipped cream, so I omitted that part of the Black Forest Cake ensemble.

2 1/8 c flour
2 c white sugar
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c veg oil
1 tbsp vanilla

mix together the dry ingredients, then add the wet
grease and flour a 9x13 pan

bake 350 for 45 min

2-3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
3/4 c Guinness
spoonful of corn starch
large spoonful of sugar

throw it all in a pot and bring to a boil, cook until thickened

cherry blood...all over my kitchen
I put on an apron to save the white dress I was wearing...but somehow nothing ended up on the apron.

This cake was super-awesomely delicious.  Best Birthday Cake I ever made myself.  
Also, the only so far, but that's beside the point.
It was so delicious, I had some for dinner last night. Before I ate my real dinner.  
I couldn't wait til after for dessert.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cream Cheese Mac

I try to eat healthy as often as possible.  But sometimes, I just crave mac n cheese.  And sometimes, I remember that I just happened to buy cream cheese the other day and haven't done anything with it.  And think that maybe I should add cream cheese to the mac n cheese.  And darn it, I just remembered that I also have sour cream in my fridge that I should have thrown in because it needs to get used.  Oh well.  I missed out on using the sour cream, but I did use some cream cheese!

By the way, I'm currently eating my second helping.  This stuff is too good.  Maybe I'll run it off in my race on Saturday...It will only be the 2nd 10k course I have ever run.  I've done a 10k in Lewisburg for the past 5 years, but it's the only 10k I've ever done, and while my times for the past 2 years have been decent, I really really want to break 40 minutes. I'm hoping to achieve that this weekend.  New course, flatter course, and hopefully some better competition to help carry me to a PR! 

Anyway.  Cream Cheese Mac.  Deliciousness.

Boil some water and throw in about half a box of elbow macaroni.  In a smaller saucepan, combine 3 tbsp butter, 3-4 tbsp cream cheese, a bunch of heavy cream, 1/4 c wheat flour, and a big handful of shredded cheese. Once everything is all melty and delicious, and the macaroni is cooked, combine in an oven-safe dish.  Oh and by the way, grate a carrot and mix it in with all that.  Then you can pretend it's healthy.  Mix well, sprinkle more cheese over the top, and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  

I enjoyed my mac and cheese on a bed of arugula, topped with a crabby beef burger and some shaved & sauteed parsnips.  And then I drizzled ranch dressing over the whole thing because...I thought it might be too dry without it?  And...go big or go home? 

It was delicious.  
Eating super healthy all the time is overrated. 

and here's a picture of the shaved parsnips before I cooked them
just because
they're awesome

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crabby Beef Burger

1 lb ground beef (93/7 lean)
1 can of shredded crab meat
1 egg
2 tbsp of ranch
tbsp of bbq sauce
1/4 c breadcrumbs

mix it all up, shape into patties, cook 'em up

I put some into ziploc bags and put them in the freezer for later.

1/2 whole wheat bun
1/2 avocado

 Don't forget the home-made fries!
I love home-made fries...this is the 3rd night in a row I've had them for dinner!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mint-Guinness Cake

The things I do when I've been entertaining myself too many evenings in a row and need to get off the couch and do something.  (Something other than cleaning...I should do that someday...)

Anyway, I ended up feeling the need to bake this evening, even though I was not even remotely attracted to the idea of eating anything that I might make.  But I decided that I wanted to make some sort of a cake. With mint.  I'm only slightly obsessed with the mint plant I bought not too long ago.  I don't have any milk and didn't feel like wasting gas on a trip to the grocery store, so I needed a cake recipe that didn't call for milk.  So, I went with a spin-off of my olive oil beer cake.  I made a Mint-Guinness cake.  With olive oil. 

2 eggs
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c Guinness
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1+ tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
small handful of mint leaves, chopped
1/2 c wheat flour
1 scant c flour

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

I didn't do anything fancy for the topping of the slice pictured above.  I will probably melt some dark chocolate to make a glaze for the rest of the cake later.  The topping above was just some chocolate that had seized on me awhile ago, and I had stashed in the cupboard to try to save someday.  I melted it with a bit of water and it came out...tolerable. You can definitely tell that the chocolate isn't tempered. 

I haven't quite decided if this cake is actually good or not.  I might just be pretending to like it because I don't want the ingredients to go to waste.  It is certainly interesting-tasting.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mojitos in Jars

Mojitos are the perfect summery drink.  They are light, refreshing, and delicious.  This year, I have my own mint plant on the kitchen windowsill, and I love being able to just pull a few leaves off to whip up a quick mojito on a hot day.  This evening, I wanted to make mojitos for a bunch of people, but I didn't have a pitcher that was easily transportable.  I did however, have 11 jam jars that I had saved from the jam I put on my pancakes.  So I decided to make individual mojitos.  They were definitely a hit!

Step 1  
Put a scant 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar in each jar.

Step 2  
Chop up a lime and squeeze one slice into each jar. 
(and drop the slice into the jar after you squeeze the juice out of it)
I also poured about a tbsp of lime juice into each jar, but you could use extra fresh lime if you wish.

Step 3  
Add a few mint leaves.

Step 4  
Muddle the contents of the jar.  Use a pestle to bruise the mint leaves, crush the stems, and stir up the sugar/lime juice to dissolve as much of the sugar as possible. 

Step 5
Add 1 shot of vodka or rum to each jar.

Step 6
Add 2-3 shots of club soda.

We didn't have any ice tonight, but ideally you want to add some ice to keep the drink chilled while you sip it.  Either way, it's quite refreshing.  I love mint.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Parsnip-Basil Mash

Chop 1 large parsnip and steam it in a covered skillet with olive oil, 1/4 c water, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. While the parsnips are cooking, chop 5-6 leaves of fresh basil and throw them in a food processor for a few pulses.  When the parsnips are soft, add them to the food processor and pulse until smooth. 
(or as smooth as it will get...mine came out a little bit chunky, but mostly smooth)

This made a nice little healthy snack while I waited for my sloppy joe & mac n cheese comfort food to finish cooking last night.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Broccoli Salad

1 1/2 heads of broccoli 
(steamed and chopped)

3 slices bacon
1 inch ginger root
3 cloves garlic
(chopped and cooked together in a skillet)

1 large spoonful of mayonnaise
soy sauce
ginger powder
mustard powder
(blended together)

small handful of chives
(finely chopped)

mix everything together

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Look at that big pot of tastiness.  They simmered for about 2 hours while I did some odds and ends and spent some time with my horse.  Since Thursday is my long day at school, and I needed to go for a run after that, I didn't get to start the meatballs til 6.  By the time they were done, I was pretty hungry!  They certainly did not disappoint...I had to go back for seconds!

For the sauce, I used about 1 jar of Prego HeartSmart Mushroom and about 1/2 jar of Kroger Alfredo.  It filled a 2 qt saucepan about half way.  For the meatballs, I mixed together a little bit of mustard, 1 egg, some breadcrumbs, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric.  I used 1 lb 93% lean ground beef.  

I let the sauce heat up while I was mixing and rolling the meatballs.  Then I dropped the meatballs in the sauce.  When it started bubbling, I lowered the heat and propped a lid on top to contain the splashing.  

Simmer for about 2 hours and then eat up!

Tonight's dinner was rigatoni, meatballs, and a glass of merlot.
A wonderful trio.