Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

7/22/14

Dutch Oven Molasses Baked Beans




Summer is the best time to break out the Dutch oven and make a pot of Molasses Baked Beans. I've been making variations of this recipe for years. It's always a crowd favorite and a perfect accompaniment to any barbecue meal. You can make these while out camping or even in your backyard.
I've included a little step by step photo tutorial, because I know how much you love a good picture story. Have a Happy 24th of July (Pioneer Day in Utah) !


things are heating up. bacon and onions cooking...
molasses, yellow mustard, brown sugar, ketchup. measure them out. get ready to dump.

add the beans. 
molasses...


mustard 

brown sugar and ketchup. are you bored yet? my friend Melinda tells me she likes the step by step.  

don't forget the hot sauce.

stir. with a wood spoon, to get that pioneer spirit. 
Place the lid on the pan.  you don't need one of these fancy tools, but we bought one after many years of having dutch ovens and we think it's pretty useful. large pliers also work. gloves are good too. 

cook for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. this is how they'll look when done. Nice toes, Brookie.





A side note to my story.
Some of you are very observant. You email or leave a comments about details in photos. Such as- why do there appear to be SO MANY COALS under the Dutch oven????   Because friends, this is why. My husband thinks that whenever we pull out the Dutch ovens, the cooking expertise shifts from me, to him. He insists on placing half of the bag of briquettes into the chimney we use to heat up the coals. Even if it's a 50 lb bag. Not really, but it seems that way.
You know how men are. Fire is good. More fire is twice as good!
Anyway. He is an out of doors expert, and I am not, that is a fact.
But I'm a cooking type of person, and he is not. Also a fact.
So we always have "words"  when we attempt Dutch Oven cooking.
The convo usually goes like this.
G: I am doing this.
Me: okay. (as I watch him heat about 50 coals)
G: I've got this.
Me: You're using too many coals.
G: No I'm not.
Me: yes you are.
G: Who is doing this me, or you?
Me: I'm going inside.
So, yes. in the photos, you will see lots of coals. More than I tell you to use in the recipe. More than the Scouting Magazine article titled "Dutch Oven Cooking 101" advises you use.
But hey.
What do the Scouts know?
I've got to hand it to him.
That's one good looking pan of beans.







Dutch Oven Molasses Baked Beans
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1-12 or 14 inch dutch oven ( I believe we used a 14 for this recipe)
about 26-30 briquettes

1 lb bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped about 2 cups
1- #10 can pork and beans ( about 7 lbs 10 oz)
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar light or dark
1/2 cup mustard
3/4 cup molasses
hot pepper sauce, to taste

Light briquettes, follow package directions.
Place about 10 hot briquettes in a circular pattern on the ground. We like to use an old metal pan under our dutch oven. Place the dutch oven on top of the briquettes.
Place the chopped bacon and onion into the dutch oven. Cook until the bacon is slightly crisp and onions are softened. Drain any excess grease. Don't worry about removing every bit of bacon grease.
Add the remaining ingredients,  stir.
Place the lid on the beans and using a pair of tongs, place about 16 briquettes on top of the lid and leave 10-14 under the dutch oven.
Let the beans cook for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and hot. This will vary in cooking time depending on how much wind there is, the amount of coals you use, the temperature of the coals, etc.
If you feel the beans are cooking too fast, remove some of the coals.
When ready to serve, carefully remove lid, so the ashes do not get into the beans. Sometimes, if our beans are cooked and very hot, we dump the ashes, and simply leave the lid on till ready to serve.
Serves about 20-25 as a side dish

Tips:
-There are many sources for Dutch Oven cooking online. Here are a couple :
Scouting Magazine (Dutch Oven Cooking 101)
Camp Cooking Outdoors
-You may use any brand of beans, Van De Camps is a brand found in most grocery stores. I used a brand I purchased from a wholesale food distributor.
-This recipe may also be made in the oven. Cook the bacon and onions, drain the grease and add the remaining ingredients. Bake at 375 for one hour.




7/10/14

Fruit-Filled Virgin Sangria




A few months ago, I attended a food blogger event at the City Creek Harmons. They served a delicious non-alcoholic basil sangria. I loved the drink and thought it would be fun to recreate my own version at home when fresh fruits were in season!

Sangria is traditionally served in Spain and Portugal and made with wine, sweetener, fruit and a bit of brandy. I'm not a drinker, but love drinks made with fresh fruit.






Last week, we watched the fireworks, soaked up the sunset and enjoyed a pitcher of this colorful drink from our patio. The kids and adults loved the fruit-filled pitcher. When it was empty, we just added more of the liquid base, mixed and enjoyed. This is a perfect addition to any summer party. It travels well- just take the cut up fruits, canned juice, soda and ice in a cooler and mix when the party starts.
Hope you're keeping cool this summer!




Fruit Filled Virgin Sangria
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 frozen can of Welch's (or other brand) White Grape and Peach concentrate (not mixed up), thawed a bit*
one 2 liter bottle Ginger Ale or Sprite, sugarless is fine as well
ice, about 2-3 cups
a cup of water, if desired
Approximate fruit (for one pitcher)
2 limes, washed, sliced
1 orange, washed, peel on, sliced
1-2 cups strawberries, washed, a few sliced, a few left whole
handful of cherries
1 peach, peeled and sliced
mint leaves

Using a large glass pitcher, pour in half of the can of concentrate. Add half of a 2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale or Sprite. Add ice, about 2-3 cups. Mix a bit. Add chopped fruits and mint and stir lightly with large wood spoon.  If needed add a bit of water. You may leave the spoon in the pitcher if you wish to help scoop out the fruit while serving.
When the liquid is empty from the pitcher, simply add the remaining juice concentrate, ginger ale and more ice to the remaining fruit in pitcher. Stir and enjoy. You may also add more fruit if needed.
Serves 8

Tips:
-I used a white grape and peach blend but you can use any type of juice. I suggest white grape, pineapple, apple, grape, cranberry, peach, mango. The possibilities are endless.
-Most instructions for Sangria will advise to let the mixture to sit in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Since I was using a carbonated liquid (and I was short on time), I made it right before serving. Either way works fine.
-If you would like the fruit to sit at the bottom of the pitcher, place the fruit in first, then the ice and the juice and carbonated beverage last. The weight of the ice will help the fruit to sit at the bottom instead of float on the top.
-You may use any combo of fresh fruit in season. I liked the look of the orange and green and red together with a splash of dark green.
-This recipe would also work well in a punch bowl.


6/27/14

Red, White and Blueberry Tart







Are you planning a 4th of July bash?
This is one of my favorite desserts, reinvented. Remember when fruit pizza was all the rage years ago? Sweet cookie crust, with cream cheese and powdered sugar icing, topped with fruit and glaze. Sometimes the fruit was arranged beautifully, other times it was dumped on top of the crust and cream cheese layer.
That was the 80's. Time to update this classic dessert.




First, I headed to Harmons to buy the sweetest, most plump, fresh berries. If you live in Utah, you're in business!  Harmons consistently has the best produce in the state. With the exception of picking berries yourself, Harmons is as fresh as it gets.




How do you update a classic? I decided switching from a pizza pan to tart pans made a big difference in presentation. Other subtle, but game changing differences- a little lemon flavoring, fresh fruit only (nothing canned) and no sugary glaze.
When you break this dessert down, it's a sugar cookie crust, lemon-cream cheese icing, topped with fresh fruit. So simple, a kid can make it.
I know you're going to love this for your summer gatherings!
Happy Fourth, and happy baking :)





Red, White and Blueberry Tart
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon flavoring or lemon emulsion*
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Individual tart pans or 9-10 inch tart pans

Cream together butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon flavoring or emulsion and egg, beat until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar all at once. Mix just until flour disappears and wet and dry ingredients are combined,
Using individual tart pans (14-16  4-inch pans), or
2-3  9-10 inch or equivalent tart pans, lightly grease the pans with cooking spray.
Scoop the dough into the pans, and press into the pans lightly with hands.
If the dough gets too soft, place the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help the dough firm up.
After all of the tart pans are filled, pre-heat oven to 375 and set the racks in the middle of oven.
When oven is pre heated, bake the tarts for about 10-12 minutes or until tarts are golden brown. For a
9-inch tart pan, bake about 15 minutes. Remove and set on rack to cool. Let cool completely. This step may be done up to two days ahead if kept covered after baked and cooled.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1 1/2  8 oz blocks cream cheese)
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of salt
splash of milk (if needed to thin)

Beat all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth and blended well. The filling should be the consistency of  frosting.
Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use. If making ahead, refrigerate and cover.  Remove from refrigerator  about 30 minutes before ready to use.

Fruit topping:
fresh blueberries
fresh strawberries
fresh raspberries

Wash and drain the fruit thoroughly before using on the tarts. If the fruit is still wet from washing, it may bleed onto the cream cheese filling. I usually wash the fruit, let sit in a colander, then place on paper towels and pat lightly.

When ready to assemble:
Spread the cream cheese filling onto the tarts using a small spatula. Spread the filling almost to the edge of the tart. Arrange the fruit on top of the filling. Place tarts in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
May be prepared early in the day and covered until ready to serve.

Tips:
-Lemon emulsion and lemon extract are found in  most bakery supply stores or stores that sell cake decorating supplies.  Do not use lemon juice as a substitute in the tart shell. Fresh lemon juice is called for in the lemon cream cheese filling only.



6/12/14

Best BBQ Chicken Thighs with Honey-Orange BBQ Sauce

Chicken topped with Honey-Orange and Fresh Grated Ginger BBQ Sauce



























How do you feel about chicken thighs? Before you make a face, or tell me they're too high in calories, or you only eat all-white chicken meat, hear me out. It's Father's Day on Sunday, and I have a feeling Dad wants you to keep reading...

Here are my "Top five reasons why you should barbecue thigh-meat for Dad on Sunday" :

1. All of the cool kids are eating thighs. Not really, but they are regularly found on menus at upscale restaurants.  Wait. What did Dad tell you about the cool kids? 
Disregard this reason. Go on to reason #2...

2. It's about 10 times more delicious and flavorful than a piece of white breast meat. 
I am not lying.  Don't look at me that way. Do I sound like your dad? 

3. Thighs are more difficult to over-cook than white meat. Always moist and delicious. I have never overcooked a piece of thigh meat. Not. one. time. It may be impossible to overcook thigh meat. Ask Dad about this. Most dads have a PHD (or equivalent) in grilling. 

4. A thigh costs about 1/2 the price of white chicken meat. I paid about $4 for 8 thighs.  
Dad loves it when you save $$$!!!  He'll be so proud. 

5. And finally, reason #5 why you should cook thighs for Dad on his special day...He'll love it. 





Best BBQ Chicken Thighs with Honey-Orange BBQ Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Sauce:
4 tablespoons  OJ concentrate (from a frozen can, thawed)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce ( I prefer Very Teriyaki brand)

8 thighs, bone in, skin removed
salt and pepper

Whisk all sauce ingredients together in small bowl.  Remove about 1/2 cup of sauce and set aside.
Place thighs in a dish and salt and pepper generously on both sides. Spoon the 1/2 cup of reserved sauce over the chicken to coat well. The chicken may be stored in refrigerator up to two days before cooking in sauce.
When ready to cook, remove chicken from refrigerator, and place on counter for about 1/2 hour.
Coat grill with a light layer of oil or  cooking spray. Heat grill to medium high heat. Place chicken on grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes per side. You may baste the chicken with the remaining sauce (that has been set aside and not used on the chicken) or drizzle the sauce over the chicken after it is cooked, or serve it on the side.
About 4 servings.




1/16/14

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100





Salad for 100, anyone?
Last summer, I made this salad three times, in two months, for groups of 100 or more.
Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad is one of my all-time favorite pasta salad recipes. Here's why:  It sits well at a gathering (no mayo in the dressing). Perfect for weddings, funerals, missionary farewells and homecomings, Girl's Camp, family reunions, church parties and school events.  It's easy to make in large quantities.  Even though it looks summery it can be made year-round. AND last, but not least, everyone loves it.
The original 12-15 serving recipe is posted here . I've had oodles of requests over the years for a large quantity recipe, so I decided it would be best to re-post the recipe with directions to feed 100.
Make sure to read my tips short story (below the recipe) for all of the info you'll ever need (or want) to make pasta salad for the masses.
Happy salad making, my friends.



Got Chicken?

First three layers. 

Starting to look like something I'm interested in eating...

This was taken at Girl's Camp. I think we served 300 with these salads.
It was like the loaves and fishes. Kind of. 




Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted from Favorites cookbook
print recipe

Pasta:
5 lbs Bowtie pasta

Salad dressing:
2 2/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 1/3 cups Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, shaken
2 2/3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Salad ingredients (veggies and fruit) :
4 Costco tubs of Spinach ( 1 lb each)
8- 8 oz cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped into matchstick pieces
6 bunches green onions, chopped
48 oz - (1 large bag) Craisins 
12 cans mandarin oranges, drained well
2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
48 oz honey roasted peanuts or cashews

15 lbs chicken breasts, marinated (ingredients below), cooked, cooled and sliced

Teriyaki marinade for chicken:
6 cups soy sauce
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon or about 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix teriyaki marinade for chicken. 
Marinate chicken overnight, or at least 6 hours. Place the chicken in Ziplock bags and mix the marinade in a bowl, then pour into the bags over the chicken. The chicken may be taken directly from the freezer and set in the refrigerator in marinade for up to two days before cooking. 
After the chicken is marinated, place the drained chicken on baking sheets and broil the chicken for about 7-10 minutes (about 2-3 inches from element), or bake at 350 for about 45  minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Cool completely, trim off any fat and cut into slices. Set in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad. The chicken may be cooked up to three days before serving salad.
Discard any leftover marinade, DO NOT use the marinade in the salad dressing. 

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, rinse quickly with cold water and toss with a tablespoon olive or canola oil  or a little of the Veri Teriyaki sauce and place in refrigerator in covered containers (I use gallon Ziplock bags) until ready to assemble salad. May be cooked up to three days before serving.

Blend the salad dressing ingredients together using large bowl or blender. Mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Assembly:
May be done early in the day, or the day before serving.
Using two large containers, layer the ingredients to the salad in the following order (see photos)
Pasta, chicken, spinach, chopped water chestnuts, chopped green onions and Craisins. Make sure the water chestnuts are drained well.
Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, add the following to the top of salad:
Drained mandarin oranges, toasted sesame seeds, honey roasted peanuts.
Mix the prepared salad dressing well, pour about 2 cups onto each container of salad, tossing gently so the mandarin oranges do not break apart. Add more salad dressing, sparingly, as needed.
Serve individually onto plates, or in a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and nuts if desired.

Tips:
-This salad may be prepared in advance. When I'm making salads in large quantities, I usually start the day (or two) ahead with any of the steps that can be done early. Read this recipe carefully for instruction on make ahead.
-If you are serving this with a main dish, say at a barbecue, you may leave out the chicken. Or half the chicken (and marinade).
-This salad is a hearty serving of a main dish salad. It will yield 100 generous lunch size portions of salad. If served with a roll and dessert, it should satisfy most appetites. If you are serving the salad on a buffet, with other salads or sides, this should serve up to 150 as a side dish. 
-For the chicken, I buy Costco 10 lb bags of frozen- boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Usually the Tyson or Foster Farms brands. They are generally trimmed of most fat so the prep work is minimal regarding trimming the chicken. I use the chicken right out of the freezer, no thawing needed.
If you are trying to cut costs, use less chicken. This recipe may be adjusted to serve 100 with 10 lbs of chicken (instead of 15). Cut the teriyaki marinade for the chicken in half as well.
-Teriyaki Sauce for dressing on the salad- I like  Soy-Vay "Veri Veri Teriyaki"  for this recipe. It is highly concentrated, so you will use less than when using another brand. It can usually be purchased at most grocery stores and Walmart or Costco. I've also seen it online at Amazon.  Make sure to shake the bottle before using.
- Purchase Honey Roasted Planters Peanuts at Walmart in large size containers compared to the containers sold at the grocery, they are quite a bit less expensive. I love this recipe made with honey roasted cashews, but they cost quite a bit more than peanuts, so I usually stick with peanuts when making a large quantity.
-Less is more with regard to salad dressing. Use less dressing than you think you need initially. Let it sit for a few minutes and see how much has soaked into the pasta, and how much has settled to the bottom of the serving bowl. Add more dressing if needed. I rarely use all of the dressing.
-Purchase sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery in the health food aisle or in the Asian section of the grocery. The cost is significantly less than if purchased in the spice section.
-Toss the peanuts and the sesame seeds last onto the salad to preserve the crunch of the nuts.

9/18/13

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad










I originally posted this salad a couple of years ago. It is a perfect side with our Family Favorite Enchiladas or any type of barbecue dish.  Soon, fresh corn and tomatoes will disappear.
Forever.
Thought you needed a little drama in your life.






Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen

6 ears corn or one small bag of frozen corn
3 large fresh tomatoes,  or 1-2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion or about 1 cup chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
two to three sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Boil corn in large pot of water for about 7 minutes. Drain and plunge corn into cool water. Cut corn off cob and set aside to cool completely. If using frozen corn, do not thaw. 
Chunk tomatoes and onion. Coarsely chop basil and strip the oregano off stems. Place cooled corn, chopped vegetable and herbs into large bowl. Toss with vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste. Serve chilled or room temperature

8/2/13

It's that time of year...Chocolate Zucchini Cake




On Tuesday, my friend Wendy gave me a couple of zucchini from her garden. I promised to make something yummy with the gift and post it.
The plan: to make something semi-healthy.
What got in the way of the plan: while out for my morning walk the next day, Melinda told me she made some of Laurie's Chocolate Zucchini Cake. So much for the plan.
Here it is. New and improved. Originally posted here (Aug 2010).
With frosting, this time around, for good measure.



Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Adapted a bit from Laurie Cutler by ABK
print recipe

½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups zucchini, grated*
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips
Whipping cream, or frosting (recipe below)

Cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat. Add flour, cocoa, cloves, cinnamon, soda and salt and beat for additional 2 minutes. Add grated or blended zucchini and buttermilk. Blend well. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325 for 45 minutes (check with a toothpick).
Best when served slightly warm with fresh whipped cream or top with frosting (below).

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
milk or cream to thin, about 2-3 tablespoons
Beat all ingredients with mixer in bowl until smooth. Frost cake when cooled.

Tips:
-You may also bake in two-9 or 10 inch pie plates.
*This recipe has been altered a bit from the original. The original recipe calls for peeling and seeding the zucchini, I leave the peel on and don't seed. And I usually pulverize the zucchini in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water. The total amount used in the recipe is 2 cups, meaning I place the zucchini in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water and pulverize the zucchini until it looks like baby food. Then I measure out 2 cups. If it turns out to be a little less than 2 cups, no big deal. 1 3/4 is fine! Also, I've increased the cocoa in the cake from 3 tablespoon (original recipe) to 6 tablespoons.

7/30/13

Summer Reading and Layered Seafood Spread



For as long as I can remember, I've loved shrimp cocktail, deep fried shrimp, shrimp in dips, even shrimp sandwiches. Maybe it has something to do with my first memory of reading a "real" book (with chapters). It was summer in the early 70's. A few of our neighbors were commercial fishermen, so a book about a girl working in a seafood processing plant was fitting for a young girl (me) growing up in Bremerton, Washington. I don't recall the name of the book, but the memory of the visuals I had while reading are still clear. The girl in the book was hired to help process crab and shrimp after local fishermen brought in their catch of the day. After her work day was over, she was allowed to eat a bit of leftover shrimp.  I remember wishing I could sit beside the girl on the loading platform of the warehouse and share her can of shrimp. Don't you love how a book can transform you to a different place and time?? Forty years later I recall that vivid description of freshly canned shrimp.
So that's my summer reading/shrimp story. Oh-The shrimp. I've been making this appetizer for years. It's simple and delicious. Great for summer or winter. Relaxed or formal gatherings. Another tried-and-true Pinch of Salt Lake Cookbook recipe.


Layered Seafood Spread
A Pinch of Salt Lake
print recipe

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
dash of garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
8 oz jar chili sauce or 8 oz homemade chili sauce
1/2 bunch chopped green onions
2 cups crab meat or shrimp (small or large), cooked, deveined and chopped if desired

Combine softened cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, garlic salt and Worcestershire in a medium bowl.
Spread onto a serving platter. The cream cheese mixture should be spread into a 10-12 inch circle. You may also use a pie plate.
Pour the chili sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture, taking care to not mix into the cream cheese. Make sure the seafood is drained well. If you have rinsed the shrimp, blot dry with paper towels to avoid making the dip watery.
Top the cream cheese and chili sauce with green onions and seafood.
Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.

Tips:
-The original recipe says to make this several hour before serving. I have done this but usually wait to top the cream cheese with the rest of ingredients until just before serving. The chili sauce tends to bleed onto the cream cheese mixture if making too far in advance. If you want to make this ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients in the cream cheese layer ahead of time,  spread onto a platter, cover and set in fridge. Rinse the seafood, blot dry and put in a Ziploc bag. Chop the green onions, place in a small Ziploc bag. Just before serving, assemble.

7/13/13

Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream Frosting



As a little girl, I absolutely loved strawberry shortcake. My mom used to serve us those little pre-packaged cakes with sliced strawberries and Cool Whip. You know what I'm talking about, right? There were 6 or 8 cakes to a package. I wished she would buy two packages so I could have one entire package to myself. I knew summer was just around the corner when we had those little cakes in the grocery cart.
A few weeks ago, I made a cake for Brett's (my BIL) bd dinner. I planned to take strawberry shortcake, but wanted to make the cake and whip the cream the night before, so we could just grab the cake and go when it was time to head out the door on Sunday. The wheels started turning and I thought it would be fun to create a strawberry shortcake with frosting, so it could all be prepared ahead of time, and seem more like a cake fit for a celebration. After some alterations to multiple recipes found online, I came up with this yummy twist to an old favorite.
Perfect summer birthday cake.
Love it.



Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream Frosting
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rack in middle of oven.
Grease and lightly flour two-9 inch round cake pans, or grease and line with parchment.
Beat 4 egg whites until stiff in medium bowl, set aside.
Place baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour in a small bowl, mix with fork.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together for two minutes on medium speed with a mixer. Add one whole egg and vanilla. Beat for an additional two minutes.
Add half of the dry ingredients, mix well. Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, mix well. Repeat with both the dry and wet ingredients until all are mixed into the bowl, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Gently fold in the egg whites.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake on middle rack in oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Watch carefully, so cake does not overcook.
Remove pans from oven when done, let sit for five minutes.
Invert onto cooling rack. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
Serves 12-15

Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Frosting

1- 8 oz  package cream cheese, regular or low fat, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond (optional)
2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

Beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and almond. Mix until smooth. Taste and add 1/4 cup of additional powdered sugar if you like it sweeter.
Slowly add the heavy cream and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
Frost the cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and top each serving with strawberries.
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Tips:
-This cake did not rise up very much at my altitude (abt 4400 ft.) . I'm going to experiment and will update the post if I am able to get a higher rise next time I bake.
If you are looking for a taller cake, double or 1 1/2 the recipe and make more layers. You'll have to increase the frosting as well to cover the cake. If you double the cake, 1 1/2 times the frosting.




7/11/13

Cooler Corn for 350



How do you cook corn on the cob for 350?
Here's the recipe/method we used at Girl's Camp last month. 
Best way to cook corn for a crowd. Ever. 





Cooler Corn (for 350)
A Bountiful Kitchen

175 ears of corn, husked and broken in half to yield 350 pieces
boiling water
coolers (we used two 165 Quart coolers they were about 1/2 full of corn, you may use smaller coolers)
About 2 1/2 to 3 hours before serving, start boiling water. We boiled about 40-50 quarts of water per cooler. 
Split the cobs evenly between coolers. 
Pour boiling water into coolers with corn. 
Close lid and don't open for at least 30 minutes, or until time to serve. 

Tips:
-Corn takes about 30 minutes to cook.  Will stay warm in cooler for up to three hours, unless the lid is opened :) 
-Don't worry, the corn will not over cook. 
-We assigned a couple of people to sit on chairs and serve the corn with tongs. We had the servers open the small "door" on the lid of the cooler instead of the large lid; this allowed the water to stay warm until everyone was served. Place a bowl of melted butter with brushes on a table for those who want butter. 
-You may use any amount of corn, follow directions above. Don't fill the cooler more than 3/4 with corn to allow for an adequate amount of hot water to cook the corn. 
-We used most of the corn we cooked, the extra cobs were cut up and used in a Southwest Salad the next evening.




7/9/13

Kash's Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler



If you are looking for a simple treat for camping, and you're willing to step outside the S'more box, you've come to the right place.
Are you in charge of dessert for your Lake Powell trip or your family reunion?  The possibilities are endless with this basic recipe (see suggestions below).  If it were any more simple it would be take out.
This treat is perfect paired with fresh raspberries and cream, or stacked (Dutch oven talk) with Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler, for your favorite chocoholic.




Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler
Kash Castleberry
print recipe

one 12-14 inch Dutch Oven
2 cans raspberry pie filling
1 yellow cake mix
oil for cake mix*
fresh raspberries and mint for garnish (optional)

Line the Dutch oven with foil for easy clean up.
Heat briquettes in chimney for 15-30 minutes
While briquettes are heating, place raspberry filling in Dutch oven.
Mix cake according to package directions, omitting eggs and adding extra 1/4 cup water instead. (eggs make the cobbler puff up too much while baking).
Pour cake mix on top of fruit. Place lid on Dutch oven.
Place 7-10 coals below oven, and 16 coals on top of oven lid in a circular fashion.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes for 14 inch or about 35-40 minutes for a 12 inch Dutch oven, checking after about 15 minutes. If desired, rotate lid 1/4 turn to left and Dutch oven 1/4 turn to the right for more even heating.
Serve with cream or ice cream, garnish with fresh raspberries and mint if desired.

Tips:
See this post for more on Dutch oven cooking and heating up briquettes, etc.
*-We were at our cabin when I made this and I forgot to buy oil. So we melted a cube of butter instead of using vegetable oil. It baked up perfectly. Just in case you are worried about not getting enough sat fat in your diet. 
-If baking in an oven at home, I suggest baking in a large cast iron skillet or two 9 inch round cake pans at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, or until cake is done.
-Alternatives to the raspberry/yellow cake combo:
use a chocolate cake mix and raspberries.
lemon cake and lemon filling.
Strawberry cake and cherry filling.
Mix a few mini chocolate chips into the yellow cake mix.
Lay a few broken up Hershey bars on top of the cake after baking and let melt slightly.
Top with fresh raspberries, blueberries and serve with whipped cream for a red, white and blue dessert.
Use a spice cake mix and apple pie filling on the bottom layer.