Friday, May 27, 2011

Amaretto Cake

Sorry I forgot to take a picture, made this cake for a cooking party and we all ate it all before I got the picture, it turned out great and was even better the next day after it had cooled... very moist and delicious!

Amaretto Cake
very slightly adapted from
(Printable Recipe)

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 (5.1 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 Tbsp amaretto liqueur
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. (I used Pam for Baking spray)

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, instant vanilla pudding, water, oil, almond extract, and 2 tablespoons of the amaretto; blend together well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. 

Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and while it is still warm, poke holes in the surface. (I didn't poke holes in it) Drizzle with the Amaretto Glaze, insuring that some of the glaze fills the holes. Let the cake cool for at least 2 hours before removing from the pan. 

To make Amaretto Glaze: Sift the confectioners' sugar, and combine it with the remaining 1/2 cup amaretto. Blend until smooth. You may add more amaretto as needed. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

 Daniel of course had 2... so don't think it was the pregnant girl who ate both! :)

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
  • 3 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast, Thighs Or A Combo Of The Two
  • 1 whole Onion (large), Sliced Into Chunks
  • 1 can (20 Oz. Size) Pineapple, I Recommend Crushed, Drained But Reserve The Juice If Using (See Note Below)
  • 1 bottle (18 To 20 Oz. Size) BBQ Sauce Of Your Choice (Our Favorites Are Sweet Baby Ray's Or Open Pit If We Want To Give It A Little More Of A Kick)
  • Hamburger Buns Or Kaiser Rolls
If you use frozen chicken, make sure it is completely defrosted. If you cook it frozen, it will indeed cook but it will make a very “wet” sauce. Place your chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with onions, then pineapple. Pour the entire bottle of BBQ sauce over the whole thing.
Note: If you want a sweeter BBQ, add up to half a cup of the pineapple juice you drained, depending on how sweet you want it. This is optional.
Turn your crock pot on LOW and cook for 8–10 hours (or on HIGH for 4–6).
An hour or two before it is finished cooking, carefully remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred it using two forks. Watch out, it will be hot! Place chicken back in the crock pot and stir well to combine. Finish cooking an additional hour or two so the chicken can absorb most of the sauce. Serve on hamburger buns and top with coleslaw if desired.
Note: When I had made it with Sweet Baby Ray’s and pineapple juice, it was a very sweet Pulled Chicken. It was great, and everyone loved it. But I have to say, using Open Pit BBQ Sauce and no pineapple juice was hands down our favorite! It had just the right amount of sweet and vinegar that we love in a good BBQ.
If you are making this for kids, children tend to like the sweeter variety.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Homemade Sushi Rolls

Everyone Loves Sushi!

 First cover your bambo mat with saran wrap, then lay out the seaweed...

 Spoon the rice on using a wet wooden spoon, because the rice is sticky... spread out and leave a 1 inch rim on the side facing away from you...

 Lay your ingredients on top of the rice, use fingers to hold ingredients in and your thumbs to begin rolling..

 After the first roll adjust mat and begin rolling again..

 Turns out like this... to cut, use a wet knife... I wet it in between each slice...

 Yummy, serve with soy sauce and wasabi... but I forgot our wasabi... :(

 inside out roll... lay sea weed down, cover with rice like first time, but then FLIP the seaweed over making the rice on the bottom..

 Again, layer your ingredients for filling on the closest edge to you....

 and roll....and slice... and eat... :)

Homemade Sushi Rolls

Making sushi at home was WAY easier than I thought. Its just the preparation that takes up all the time. Also cooking the rice takes a bit of time. But once you have everything ready, putting it together is quite simple.
We used a mat that I got at World Market.  I just walked in, asked for where their sushi rolling mats were, she pointed me in the direction and they were $1.99... so pretty good deal!
You will need to decide what you would like to have in your sushi. We decided on the following ingredients
– Sushi Rice (of course)
-Seaweed wraps (found in Asian Section of Grocery store)
-Rice Vinegar (2 tbsp added to every 3 cups of cooked rice)
Green Onions
–Cooked Shrimp
–Cooked Crab Sticks
Cream Cheese

If you aren't pregnant you could add: Smoked Salmon, Tuna or other favorite fish

Just follow the directions on the package of sushi rice. It is best to purchase rice made for sushi. It requires you to cook it up to 30 minutes.
Once you have your rice cooked it will be very sticky. You have all of your ingredients cut up. I cut up the cucumbers into thin slices, avocado and cream cheese were in thin slices as well..
Lay down your bamboo mat with 1 piece of seaweed on top. Using your paddle, a large heaping amount of rice in the center of your seaweed. It helps if your paddle is wet to prevent over sticking. You may use your hands (if they are wet) or the paddle and spread out the rice.
Leave approx 1 inch of seaweed on on end with out rice on it so that it can overlap when you are rolling.  Once you have your rice pressed firmly and on your seaweed. You may now add in your favorite ingredients. Remember LESS is more. Do not over stuff your sushi.

Some of the combos that were good:
Mayo, Avocado, Shrimp
Cream Cheese, Green Onion, Shrimp, Cucumber, Avocado
Crab, Cream Cheese, Cucumber
Salmon, Cream Cheese, Green Onion, Avocado

When you start to roll your sushi, Start on the end closest to you and roll out. Make your first flip/roll tight. The tigher you roll your sushi, the more firm it will be and less will fall out. Once you flip it/start the roll. Untuck the bamboo mat and continue to roll your sushi till the very end and pressing firmly in your hands.
You can see the photos below of us rolling multiple sushi rolls. Once you roll it. You may use a little bit of water to help seal that last 1 inch of seaweed. Then cut your roll into 8-10 pieces.
We made alot of sushi with 1 package of seaweed.  Not as hard as I thought, Daniel and I thought we would have a difficult time and it may have been a flop, but it was very easy! Soooo good luck!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sloppy Joes-A Staple

MMMM... Sloppy Joes

 Brown meat, add in onion and green pepper....

 Add in all remaining ingredients, let simmer for 30 minutes... serve.

 Sloppy Joes

* 1 pound lean ground beef
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
* 1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup tomato sauce
* 3 teaspoons brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* salt to taste
* ground black pepper to taste
*a dash or 2 of pepper sauce (aka Tabasco) OPTIONAL

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, lightly brown the ground beef, with just a little bit of pink left; drain off liquids.
2. Stir in the onion, and green pepper and cook till tender.
3. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce and brown sugar; mix thoroughly.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.