Sunday, July 4, 2010

strawberry milkshake cake

I made this festive cake for my family BBQ tonight in celebration of Independence Day. It was a hit, both in looks and taste! This is a great idea for the 4th of July, Pioneer Day, or any summer get-together.

I found the original version of this recipe from Paula Deen's website (see it here), but I've modified it slightly to better meet my specifications.

Strawberry Milkshake Cake:


1 box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored jello powder
1 (10 -ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract (optional)
6 cups powdered sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries and blueberries to garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans or cupcake pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean (time may be more or less depending on pans used).

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover for a delicious topping for vanilla ice cream to serve with cake.) Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Frost the cakes (or cupcakes). Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

First was the recipe, now second, is the result:

This cake is DE-LIC-IOUS. It tastes just like a strawberry milkshake.

Paula's recipe called for two 9" rounds, but I decided to make miniature square creations using the square muffin pan made by Wilton (my new favorite Walmart discovery). Love it!

Again, this cake is gorgeous - and equally delicious. One thing I must point out is to make sure the cake has been refrigerated at least TWO HOURS before frosting. It falls apart easily, and the colder and more firm it is when frosting, the better. Also, I didn't use the strawberry extract in mine, and it still tasted just great.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

chicken piccata

I first had chicken piccata almost seven years ago. Since then, it has been one of my favorite dishes both to make and to eat. I get a lot of requests for it! It's really easy. Be sure to try it! I think it will quickly be added to your list of favorite dishes.

1/4 c milk
1 egg
1/2 c corn flake crumbs (can be found on the baking aisle)
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Approximately 8 tbsp butter
2 tbsp garlic, pressed
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 c green onions, diced

Combine milk and egg in bowl, beat slightly, set aside. In a separate dish, combine corn flake crumbs, salt, pepper, and flour. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch. Dip chicken into egg mixture, followed by the crumb mixture, making sure to coat thoroughly.

Melt 5 tbsp butter in large skillet. Add garlic. Place breaded chicken in pan, coating each side with garlic butter (more butter may be needed). Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through and is golden brown. Remove chicken to serving dish, keep warm, and set aside.

Turn heat to med-low. Add remaining 3 tbsp butter to drippings in pan, and stir until butter is melted. Stir in the lemon juice and green onions. Spoon over chicken and serve. Delicious!

*photo shows the use of capers, which this version of chicken piccata does not call for.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

cupcake tier cake

Ah, one of my favorite cakes to make. So cute, so easy!

I made this pink one for a Valentine's party I hosted last weekend {sorry the photo is a little blurry}, and the blue one was for Mother's Day of last year. It's always a hit!

How to:

1. Whip up 1 cake mix of your choice according to the directions on the box
2. Use half the batter for 12 cupcakes, and the other half for an 8" round
3. Bake according to directions and then cool completely in refrigerator
4. Frost with icing of your choice {I use a homemade cream cheese icing, the next Dish Delish post will feature that recipe}
5. Keep frosted cake and cupcakes separated and refrigerated until just before guests arrive
6. Tier cupcakes on top of 8" round as follows:
6. Decorate with accessories of your choice {I usually use party beads and artificial flowers}
7. Voila! Enjoy your super cute, super yummy cake!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

gourmet in a hurry- raspberry chipotle cream cheese dip

I throw a lot of parties - it's kind of a hobby I have that makes me happy. I have one such party coming up, and I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite appetizers that is so easy to put together, I hesitate to even call it a recipe.

There are three ingredients:

1. One 8oz block of cream cheese

2. Fischer & Wieser Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce {find it at Costco}
this stuff is GREAT because one bottle is good for FOUR parties!

3. Crackers or Pretzels {any type of your choice}

So to put it together, all you do is place the cream cheese on a small serving dish, and then pour about 1/4 of the bottle of sauce on top of the cream cheese. Once that is done, take that serving dish, and place it on a large serving platter. Place pretzels or crackers on the platter surrounding the dish with the raspberry chipotle cream cheese dip. Serve it to your guests!

I have served this appetizer several times at parties, and I always get comments on how "gourmet" it is. If they only knew that putting it together took about two minutes total! Also, the color is beautiful. I love colorful food. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

peanut butter bars

What's the one cafeteria food from your grade school days that you actually looked forward to? Probably peanut butter bars, right? Well, straight from the lunch ladies mouth, here's the most popular, most famous, exact lunch lady recipe:

Cookie Layer:

3/4 c margarine
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 c flour
1 2/3 c rolled oats

Peanut Butter Layer:
1 c creamy peanut butter, whipped

Frosting Layer:
1/2 c margarine
2 tbsp cocoa
2 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 c milk

Preheat oven to 300. Mix all "Cookie Layer" ingredients except flour and oats. Once mixed, stir in flour and oats. Spread evenly on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for 12-15 minutes. DO NOT OVER-BAKE!

Remove from oven. Place dabs of whipped peanut butter on top of hot cookie layer. When melted, spread whipped peanut butter evenly over entire pan.

Cool completely.

Mix all frosting ingredients, frost over the peanut butter layer. Enjoy!