25 October 2008

Mom's Cowboy Caviar

Sorry for the lull in posts - a lot has happened over the last couple of weeks and I haven't been doing much cooking. Cowboy Caviar is a recipe from my mom. It's delicious, and always a big hit at a party. Enjoy....

Cowboy Caviar

2 cans (15.5 OZ) black beans - drained
2 cans (15.5 OZ) black -eyed peas - drained
2 cans (14.5 OZ) diced tomatoes - drained (or use fresh)
1 cup frozen corn - thawed (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup green onion - finely diced
1 to 2 cups green bell pepper - diced
2 cans (small) jalapeno peppers (mild)
2-3 cans (small) sliced olives (drained)
1-2 avocados - firm - diced (I used 2)
1 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (optional)
1-2 cups italian salad dressing - (use 1 cup to toss, then add more if needed before serving)

1. Mix all the canned ingredients together
2. Add the garlic salt, cilantro and avocado with the italian dressing
3. Toss to coat
4. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving

**This makes a good amount, but I usually double the recipe because it is good the next day.

08 October 2008

i love cupcakes.

I love cupcakes. They are such a perfect portion of sugary goodness. I used to want to make an entire bakery - cupcake-theme related - and then Sprinkles came along and beat me to the punch. I still love making them though. In honor of the upcoming holiday season, here is a really good pumpkin cupcake recipe with cream cheese frosting:

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

250g cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
orange sprinkles (optional)

1. In a large bowl, sift and whisk flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, blend in pumpkin, buttermilk and oil.
3. Pour over dry ingredients - stir until moistened.
4. Spoon into large paper-lined muffin cups - pour filling to top.
5. Bake at 375 degree oven, 18-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

1. In bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Spread on cupcakes, and decorate with sprinkles.

**Butterscotch baking chips are great on top too!

01 October 2008

My first attempt at an Ice Cream Cake

Cortney's birthday was Tuesday and I wanted to make him his favorite cake, but he has 2: ice cream cake and red velvet. I tried to do both. Baskin Robbins is a pretty incredible person for making these seem so easy to make. This isn't a great picture of what turned out, but it wasn't that pretty in the first place. This recipe can be pretty easy, but if someone knows how to frost a cake and make it look pretty and swirly like they look in pictures, let me know how to do it!

Ice Cream Cake Recipe:

Any kind of cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 quarts any kind of ice cream, softened slightly (only 1 quart if you are making frosting and not covering with more ice cream)

1. One hour before starting your cake, turn the freezer to its highest setting
2. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs and oil, along with amount of water called for by the package directions.
4. Beat until well combined.
5. Divide the batter between the two pans. 
6. Place the pans in the oven and bake until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean (about 35 minutes).
7. Allow the cakes to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pans - let the layers cool completely before assembling the cake.

Assembling the Cake:
1. Cut off rounded tops of both cake layers.
2. Place one of the layers on an 8-inch cardboard cake round or a freezer-proof cake plate.
3. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread 1 quart of the softened ice cream over the top of the plated layer.
4. Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream.
5. Put the cake in the freezer to harder, about 1 hour.
6. Transfer the remaining softened ice cream to a mixing bowl (or frosting).
7. Cream by hand with a rubber spatula until it reaches the consistency of frosting.
8. Frost the top and the sides of cake with ice cream.
9. Put back in freezer to harden (about 1 hour)

**Use warm knife to serve!!

It was a poor attempt at my first Ice Cream Cake, but they can only get better....hopefully.