Monday, September 21, 2009

Grandma's 80th Birthday Cake!

This spunky sweet lady, our beloved Grandma Liechty, my hubby's saucy grandma, had her 80th birthday this week and to celebrate I thought that she definitely deserved a cake to match the occasion and her love of life! I was excited to be able to bake my hubby's sweet grandma's cake and we were even more thrilled to eat it!The cake was a death by chocolate cake and went fast! It was awesome to see how excited grandma was and just as much fun to see everyone else's reaction, especially her great-grandkids (my ueber cute nieces and nephews) who were downing marshmallow fondant balls left and right We just loved our trip and seeing the amazing leaves beginning to change throughout Utah! Another fun event this week was finding out that my Famous Stuffed Mushroom's recipe is in the Worldwide Ward Christmas Cookbook . . . flip open the book and their it is . . . the first recipe with a gorgeous picture! A great surprise and a fun cookbook! !Chocolate Fudge Frosting

2 pound bag of powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup milk
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Shortening
7 ounces (1/2 can) Sweetened Condensed Milk
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, or milk chocolate

Beat the butter and shortening together until smooth, add the vanilla, powder sugar, and 1/4 cup of milk (add more milk if needed). Set aside

Mix the chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt together in a microwave-safe bowl.
heat on high for 1 minute intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted.
cool to room temperature before beating into buttercream. Chill frosting before using. Enjoy

This is a very rich frosting/cake filling!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Zucchini Kuchen

I am one who is more likely to buy a cookbook or try a recipe because I see a picture of it or see it made and it makes me want to pull on some jeans, a ball cap and a sweatshirt and run to the store at 2 in the morning to buy ingredients! I am sure we are all guilty of passing up some killer meals because they don't sound/look as appealing as others. Sadly I think this recipe may fall into the category of "greats that were passed over." This is definitely a "don't judge a book by its cover" type of cake!!! In fact it is one of the best cakes that I have ever had and I was beyond thrilled to be cleaning out my bookshelf of recipes and to have found it (especially since it was printed in German on a half sheet of paper . . . in great danger of being lost forever!) This recipe was given to me by an Italian lady that I met while serving an LDS mission in Germany. She served it to me and my missionary companion Kate (cook extraordinaire) and we asked for the recipe! One thing that really thrilled me was that it was made with olive oil . . . an ingredient that I had never had in a cake or dessert before and it makes the cake unbelievably moist and fruity. Plus the pairing with cinnamon just knocks my socks off! It really is absolutely rich, moist and delicious! I think it is a perfect treat to take on a picnic or to enjoy with a mug of hot chocolate or herbal tea! This cake also gets better the second or third day!

Zucchini Kuchen
3 Eggs
1 cup Olive Oil
2 cups Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2-3 small Zucchini, diced or shredded
3 cups Flour
1 tsp Backing Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the 3 eggs together in a large bowl unto light and fluffy, add olive oil, vanilla and zucchini. Mix well
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until incorporated. (This is a THICK batter).
Pour the batter into two greased 9 inch pans and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for an hour; cover the cake with aluminum foil for the last 1/2 hour of baking. Cool to room temperature and dust with powder sugar and/or cinnaman if you like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Broccoli Beef

Hello everybody! Yep . . . I know that I have not posted in a while . . . and sadly I have made some mighty fine things during my little absence . . . but photographed NONE of it! I bought Dorie Greenspan's amazing Baking book and I have dreamily been turning its pages and dusting my kitchen with flour and sugar trying out some of her delicious recipes! Check out her book or her site to see what amazing concoctions she has created! For labor day I made her almost snickers treats and yes my family enjoyed them! Speaking of which I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day! We spent it with my lovely fam at my sweet Aunt Susan's house after watching the labor day parade. It is seriously one of my favorite days of the year! I love gathering our crew and catching up and munching on some amazing food! Thanks ya'll that came! It was fun . . . and those who weren't their . . . well you were missed but you SERIOUSLY MISSED OUT!

Broccoli Beef
1 lb Sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain
1 lb Broccoli Florets
2 tablespoons Cooking Oil
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Beef Marinade:1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:3 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth plus 2 tbsp
Dash of Red Pepper Flakes

1. Marinate the beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for about 15 minutes
2. For the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, set aside
3. Cook the broccoli in a small pot of boiling, salted water until tender-crisp, about 2-3 minutes. It should be a bright green. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
4 Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and instantly evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching). Let the beef fry for a minute, it will begin to brown nicely. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until no longer pink, Pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and bring to a boil. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

This recipe freezes very well! Also I like to keep my broccoli with as much stem on as possible, so that they are long pieces. I peel the stems of the broccoli to get rid of the tough outer skin before blanching them.