June 29, 2015

Samoa Sheet Cake




We're going to a barbecue tonight so anytime I can take a recipe I want to put on my blog is great because then we won't eat it all ourselves. This is a great dessert to take to a large gathering. It serves 35 two inch squares and it is really yummy. I think that I have said enough. Enjoy.





Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients For Cake:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup plain shortening (the kind in a can)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiled water
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
6 Tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup salted or plain caramel. (I used salted caramel from Trader Joe's but you can also use caramel ice cream topping in a jar.)

In a medium saucepan combine butter and milk and bring to a boil. Stir in caramel sauce and then add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth.


Toppings:
1 1/2  cups coconut for top of bars, toasted (see below on toasting)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (for top of cake)
3/4 cup MILK chocolate chips & 1 teaspoon shortening (for drizzle on cake)
Caramel drizzle


Directions:
1. Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar and blend until fluffy.

2. Add eggs and beat until combined well.

3. In separate bowl whisk flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture.

4. Boil water.

5. Add milk and vanilla to cake batter and blend well. Add hot water to mixture and blend well.

6. Pour into sprayed sheet pan (18x13x1) and bake on 400 degrees or about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

7. Toast coconut in oven (400 degrees) for about 5 minutes or so. Check and toss every minute. WATCH CLOSELY SO IT DOESN'T BURN. You want it golden brown.

8. Make frosting, instructions above.  Poke holes with fork into cake and pour frosting on top and smooth.

9. Sprinkle toasted coconut and pecans on top of warm frosting.

10. Drizzle some caramel topping over toasted coconut and pecans. You will need to heat it a little. I used The Trader Joe's salted caramel.

11. In microwaveable bowl, add chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave on high for 30 second increments, stiring in between each increment until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle over toppings on bars. It took one minute for mine.

LET CAKE AND CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE SET BEFORE CUTTING.


Inspiration from Chef in Training.








June 22, 2015

Chicken Lombardy


This is a fabulous chicken dish and can be easily changed to suit your needs. If you want to lighten it up with oil instead of butter or change out the wine, go ahead. I used white wine instead of Marsala because that is what I had and it was delish.  I think it's going to be one of my favorite chicken dishes.






Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Ingredients
8 oz package sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Marsala wine or other white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 green onions thinly sliced on an angle

Directions
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small frying pan and saute and brown mushrooms over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or just until tender and set aside.

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place each breast (one at a time) in a gallon zip lock bag and flatten to 1/8 inch thickness, using a meat mallet.

Dredge chicken pieces in flour and shake off. Using a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown breasts 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden.

Spray 13 x 9 baking dish, place breasts overlapping edges, in pan. Save any drippings in skillet.

Sprinkle browned mushrooms over chicken.

Add wine and chicken broth to large skillet you browned chicken in. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over chicken.

Combine cheeses and green onions and sprinkle evenly over chicken.

Bake uncovered, at 450 degrees for 15 minutes until cheese melts. Make sure chicken has clear running juices and then enjoy.







June 5, 2015

Chicken Capri



Chicken Capri is a good low carb dish. We had a green salad with it but if you don't care about the meal being low carb by all means add some nice crusty garlic bread. I liked the dish but next time I may pound down my chicken breast. I'm not a fan of a big thick chicken breast. You can experiment with it as well and just remember to adjust the cooking time. It's easy to make and doesn't take a lot of time. 





Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon dry italian herbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon or so olive oil for pan
1 can stewed tomatoes
4 slices low fat Mozzarella or provolone cheese (or more)
Fresh basil

Directions
In a bowl blend ricotta, herbs, salt, and pepper with spoon. Set aside.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with garlic powder. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and brown a little and cook for 7-10 minutes on each side.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Remove chicken from skillet and add to baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup ricotta cheese mixture on top of each breast. Gently spoon a little stewed tomatoes on top of that (just some tomato pieces) and then put the rest in the pan around chicken and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered in oven for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done. When you take the chicken out of the oven sprinkle with fresh basil.