Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunshine Angel Food Cake

As you all have gathered, I love to cook and bake.  For the past couple years, I have been entering baked items for judging at the Iowa State Fair.  I am proud to say I have placed with at least 1 item every year so far.  This year I won 2nd place in the angel food cake class with this recipe.  This recipe was a last minute decision and it was first time I had every made it.  I have to say it was risk that paid off.  Since it was the first time I made this cake, I have no idea what it tastes like but obviously the judges liked it.  I am looking forward to making it again soon so my friends and family can enjoy it as well.

Sunshine Angel Food Cake

6 eggs, separated
3/8 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ c. sugar, divided
1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour, divided
¼ c. cold water
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. lemon extract

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium setting, beat egg whites until foamy.  Add ¼ teaspoon salt, cream of tartar and vanilla; beat on high setting until stiff peaks form.  Mix in ¾ cup sugar and ½ cup flour; pour batter into an ungreased 10” tube pan.  In a separate large bowl, beat egg yolks until lemon colored.  Add water, baking powder, extract and remaining salt, sugar and flour; mix well.  Pour egg yolk mixture over egg white mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Serves 10.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pasta Carbonara

I finally got around to trying a new recipe tonight.  I found this on Bethenny Frankel's website (  She has a lot of great recipes and tips for living a healthier life.  And like always, I added my own touch to the recipe.

1 box whole wheat pasta (I used rigitoni, most people use penne)
1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
6 pieces turkey bacon chopped
1.5 teaspoons salt
1.5 teaspoons pepper
1/3 cup skim or soy milk
1 egg beaten
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the penne pasta
  2. In a large skillet, sauté turkey bacon until crispy.  Then coarsely chop.  Place bacon back in the skillet.
  3. Cook pasta al dente, drain, leaving pasta slightly wet (adds texture and thickness)
  4. Add the pasta to the skillet with the bacon, add the remaining ingredients and fold until well mixed.
  5. Garnish with parsley

I also added a couple dollops of sour cream to make the sauce creamier and some dried basil and thyme for another dimension of flavor.  ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Butter Rolls

I made these rolls for Easter this past year and they are absolutely delicious.  I entered this recipe at the State Fair and sadly, they didn't place.  This recipe is extremely easy to prepare.  No kneading necessary.  My Gramma Farm made the best dinner rolls ever.  As far as I know, she never had a recipe.  So for the past several years I have been trying to find recipes that taste as much like hers as possible and I think this recipe comes pretty close.

Homemade Butter Rolls

1 C. water
1 env. active dry yeast
½ C. sugar, divided
3 eggs, beaten
¾ tsp. salt
4 ½ C. all-purpose flour
½ C. butter, melted

Heat water until very warm, about 110-115 degrees.  In a large bowl sprinkle warm water with yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Stir; let stand 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining sugar, eggs and salt.  Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.  Cover and let rise for about 1 ½ hours, or until double in bulk.  Punch down.  Use the melted butter to coat hands generously; form dough into 2 dozen rolls.  Place rolls into 2 greased 13”x9” baking pans.  Cover and let rise again until double, about 2 hours.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Makes 2 dozen.

I don't have any pictures yet of these rolls but I will one posted as soon as I make these again. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Grill Pork Chops and Mashed Potatoes

I am continuing on my quest of finding new ways to prepare some of my favorite meals in a healthier manner.  I am a farm girl and as such I refuse to stop eating meat, no matter how many times I read that red meat should be consumed in very small quantities, I will not give this up!  :)  That being said I came up with a new approach to pork chops.  I cooked these under the broiler but you could easily bake or grill them.  This is just something I threw together so there are no measurements.  Just go based on what types of flavors you like.

4 pork chops
salt and pepper
minced garlic
chopped chives
parmesan cheese

Sprinkle each pork chop with salt and pepper.  Rub the garlic and chives in to the chops and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Place on broil pan and place under broiler to form a nice crust with the cheese.  Flip and repeat the spices.  Cook through.

I also made mashed potatoes and sweet corn to go along with the chops.  Instead of using milk and butter like I usually do to make mashed potatoes, I used olive oil instead and only used about half the milk I usually do.  They tasted great and the leftovers will make great potato pancakes.  ENJOY!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grilled Shrimp, Zucchini and Mushrooms

I love grilled shrimp.  It's quick and easy to prepare and it's good for you.  Since the humidity finally went away, I made the majority of dinner on the grill.

I bought a bag of raw, frozen, easy-to-peel shrimp.  This is a great thing, because all I had to do was pull of the tails.  They have already been deveined, which is the worst part about cleaning shrimp.  I then skewered the shrimp on bamboo skewers.  For seasoning, I melted 2 tablespoons butter, added garlic salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and a dash of chili powder.  I brushed this over the shrimp before and during grilling.  These skewers will only take a couple minutes on each side to cook.

I had some leftover mushrooms in the fridge so I pulled out the stems and skewered those as well.  I didn't add any seasonings to them, and just let them cook over the heat of the grill.

I also grilled zucchini, which is a great way to have zucchini, especially when it's in season.  I sliced the zucchini and coated each slice with olive oil, salt and pepper and Mrs. Dash seasoning.  Grill each slice until tender.

I also prepared a rice packet so we had something with a little substance for supper.  If you decide to recreate any of these, I hope you enjoy.  Happy grilling!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

I made this for lunch this past weekend.  While I was in kitchen, it really reminded me of Saturday's I spent with my gramma.  She is the reason I love to cook and bake.  I spent many Saturday's in the kitchen with my gramma, making everything from strawberry pie to chicken noodle soup.  I love beef stroganoff but I don't make it very often because I usually don't have sour cream in the fridge.  This time I planned ahead and made sure I had everything I needed to prepare the following recipe.

1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter, divided
2 lbs, beef round steak, cut into 2 1/2 in. strips
1/4 to 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
10 1/2 oz. can beef broth
3/4 c. water
1 t. salt
8 oz. container sour cream
cooked egg noodles

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute mushrroms and onion in 2 tablespoons butter.  Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.  Toss beef in flour, coating thoroughly.  Add remaining butter to skillet and brown beef; add broth, water and salt.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until beef is tender, stirring occaisionally, about 1 1/2 hours.  Add mushroom mixture and sour cream; heat through.  Serve over cooked noodles.  Serves 6.

I served this with fresh Iowa Sweet Corn!  It was all delicious!  Enjoy!