Sunday, December 30, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I made this as a breakfast / hostess treat for the New Year's Eve party that we are attending..SO Very Happy with how it turned out!  Will definitely be making this one more often!!

Butter Cake & Crumb Topping
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream (full fat)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling
1 - 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

Strawberry Filling
1 1/2 cup *fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp water
1.5 tsp cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch round pan with removable bottom with non-stick baking paper or spray heavily with cooking spray.
Prepare the strawberry jam.
Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a pan. Cook over low heat until the strawberries release their juices about 5 minutes, then add the cornstarch mix and stir until well combined. Stir for another minute or two until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the cake.

* I confess, I used frozen sliced strawberries (one tub).  Just drain about half the liquid off when thawed completely and use as the recipe directs.  Did beautifully for me!
Prepare the cream cheese filling.
Beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until well combined. Set aside.
Prepare the cake.
Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or just 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.
In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a hand whisk or a spoon, stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Set aside.
Spread the batter in the pan, with about 1/2 inch up the sides, also leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges bare (like making a well). Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter, being careful not to go beyond the border. Spread the strawberry jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the strawberry filling. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.
The next time I'll do this without the wax paper on the bottom of the pan although it removed very well. I think that spraying your pan thoroughly will make it possible to eliminate this step.  The presentation is just beautiful.  I may sprinkle with powdered sugar and just wrap it up! 
Happy New Year Ya'll! xxooxx

"Geez-Us" Dip

The family favorite when it comes to game time is this Sausage Queso Dip, affectionately known as Geez-Us Dip (please don't take offense, I certainly don't mean any disrespect but you really will say "Geez-Us...this is good dip") Phase stolen from a dear friend from college - thanks Elaine!

1 lb sausage cooked. crumbled and drained (I only use Tennessee Pride)

1/2 to 2/3 box of Velveeta cheese (cubed, light or regular, either is fine)

1 large jar of salsa (your favorite brand)

or 2 -3 cans of Rotel brand tomatoes (hot, regular or mild depending on your taste)

chopped red or green peppers, sliced scallions (optional)

Add cubed cheese, salsa or Rotel and sausage to your crock pot on low heat. Allow cheese to melt and stir about every 15 minutes for the first hour. In an hour or s, if the mixture is too thick in consistency, you may want to add more salsa or Rotel to thin the mixture. If it is too thin, add more cheese and it will thicken up nicely.

Serve with tortilla scoops or Frito scoops. You'll need a sturdy chip - this is seriously good dip! Geez-Us!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monkey Bread

This is not a cinnamon, sweet Monkey Bread...someone must have "Monkeyed" with my recipe:)

2 cans refrigerated biscuits (quarter each biscuit)
1 dozen eggs
1/2 c milk
1 lb bacon (cooked, drained and diced)
2 c Velveeta shredded cheese
1/2 stick butter
salt and pepper

Spray a bundt pan liberally with cooking spray. Whip milk and eggs together (salt and pepper as you wish). Layer ingredients in this order: Biscuit wedges, 2 pats of butter separated and spread around the pan, bacon pieces, 1/4 c Velveeta - repeat layers again, top with a final layer of biscuit wedges and cheese on the top. Pour egg and milk mixture over the layers and let the dish sit for 15 minutes. Bake at 375* for 45 minutes or until completely set. I test the center with a skewer to make sure it has cooked through completely.

Place a serving tray on top of the bundt pan then flip it over and (hopefully) the pan will slide off easily revealing a lovely breakfast bundt!

We have this on Christmas morning as it is easy to make ahead and re-heat in the morning and has a lovely presentation.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Butterscotch Haystacks

Butterscotch Haystacks

1 large 15 oz can of potato sticks
2 bags butterscotch chips
2 Tbl cooking oil

Add butterscotch chips and oil into a microwave container for 1 minute, stir and repeat for 1 more minute, stir until smooth.  Add potato sticks and stir until completely coated.

Drop in teaspoons onto waxed paper.  Allow to set until cool. 

Some recipes for this call chow mien noodles or even peanut butter, I've even seen marshmallows included.  I like just plain butterscotch and nothing else.  You can embellish it however you wish!

Peanut Brittle

I made something new this morning!  If I'd have know it was this easy - I'd have made this LONG AGO!  One dish, no clean up and microwave!  How incredibly easy!

1 cup sugar
1 cup cocktail peanuts (no skins)
1/2 cup light Karo Syrup
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place foil on a cookie sheet. Liberally grease the foil with butter, set aside.

Combine the peanuts, sugar, Karo syrup, and salt in a microwave safe container. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir once, then cook another 2  minutes. Add the butter and vanilla and baking soda, stir well and pour onto prepared cookie sheet. Let cool and break into pieces.

Hints:  Use a plastic microwave bowl that you don't want to keep (get a cheap one at the Dollar Store or use one that is discolored from a pasta past) and use a wooden spoon that you don't care to keep.  This is very sticky and I did not even attempt to clean the dish.  I'll sacrifice a 3/$1 bowl and a .25 cent spoon!  I don't think NASA could have cleaned them!