Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dog Birthday Cake


Happy 10th Birthday Buddy!  I had to make Buddy a special dog birthday cake this year for his 10th birthday.  Does this really make him 70 in dog years??  He sure doesn't act like it!  I have made this dog cake before for Buddy and Ellie's past birthdays and its really simple.  I frosted the cake with cottage cheese and decorated the cake with dog biscuits and extra shredded carrots.  I also used peanut butter to write on the cake.  Buddy (and Ellie) could not wait to eat this cake!  You should definitely make this for your dog's next birthday or any day really :)




Ingredients

1 egg
¼ cup peanut butter
½ cup applesauce
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Optional Frosting:
Cottage cheese
Peanut butter



Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and baking soda and use a whisk to mix dry ingredients.  Next add in the remaining ingredients.  Stir to mix well.

 
Pour cake batter into an 8x8 inch baking dish.  You can use a similar sized baking dish/pan of your choice.

 
Bake for 30 minutes.  (If you make cupcakes, it would probably take about 18-20 minutes to bake.)


For the frosting – Spread the cottage cheese over the cake.  I put some peanut butter in a plastic sandwich bag and snipped a corner of the bag to use for piping on the cake.

 
Feel free to decorate with extra shredded carrots, dog biscuits, or your dog’s regular kibble.


Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. 

 Special beef bones for Buddy's birthday present (of course his little sister gets one too)!


Yummmmm!


Happy dogs...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Grape Salad


I discovered this grape salad not too long ago when I had too many grapes (thanks mom) and was wondering how to eat it all.  It is surprisingly creamy and delicious.  I know its called a saladbut its almost like dessert since it is sweet.  There are different variations to this salad that you can find online.  I wanted to make it more healthy so I used neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese.  Neufchatel cheese has 1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese and is similar in looks and taste.  Also, I used a light sour cream, since it has about half the fat of regular sour cream and 1/3 fewer calories.  I suppose this balances out the sugar that I used, but its really not too much.  Do not omit the the brown sugar and pecan topping though!  It really makes this dish stand out and gives a nice crunch.  Hopefully you get to make this soon, because I couldn't wait to make this again when I first tried the recipe!


Ingredients

1 pound seedless grapes (I used red, you can use green, or use both.)
4 ounces neufchatel cheese (You can use cream cheese instead.)
½ cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans (I used glazed/candied pecans.)

 
Directions

In a large bowl, mix together the Neufchatel cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer.

 
Add grapes and stir to coat grapes with mixture. 



Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans.



Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Ellie likes to be in the kitchen with me :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

UPDATE: One Ingredient Ice Cream

I have finally figured out how to make the one ingredient ice cream better since the first time I made it and posted about it, here is the original posting:   http://sophieinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2012/03/one-ingredient-ice-cream.html

Here are my tips to making a perfect serving:

1.  Peel and slice 2 ripe bananas and put slices in a freezer bag. 
2.  Keep in freezer overnight, or even for a few days.
3.  Place frozen banana slices in food processor (or blender).  You will have to pulse it longer and probably remove the cover and scrape the sides down.   It might look weird at first but keep pulsing until you get a creamy consistency!  I promise it will be delicious!

The best tip is freezeing the bananas longer than a few hours, it will make the consistency more like ice cream.  I think the first time I made it, it was more like soft serve ice cream.  Now you can see how it looks more creamy and like regular ice cream.  I still enjoy putting in a spoonful of peanut butter when processing and I topped it with some chopped walnuts this time too.





Enjoy :)

Easy Baked Penne with Turkey


I am trying to make room in my freezer since I have so many frozen foods to use up.  I had defrosted some ground turkey and a slice of peanut butter pie that I must have stored in the freezer last time I had leftovers.  How lucky was I to find that?!  I actually ate the peanut butter pie for breakfast today at work ;)  I will need to post the recipe for the peanut butter pie next time I make it because it is so good!  So back to the ground turkey...I decided a baked pasta sounded good.  I had some leftover tomato sauce already in my fridge.  Sometimes baking a pasta dish takes up to 30 to 45 minutes, but I made it easy by just broiling the cheese on top of the cooked pasta and that only took 5 minutes in the toaster oven.  So if you are short on time, here is an easy baked penne with turkey for you.

 
Ingredients

½  pound dry penne pasta (I used a whole grain penne, you can choose whatever pasta you like.)
½ pound ground turkey
2 cups crushed tomato sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon italian seasoning
½ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup shredded mozzarella/provolone cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil



Directions

For the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain pasta.


For the ground turkey and sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet/pan on medium high heat.  Add in ground turkey and stir to break up and brown meat.  Add in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Stir in tomato sauce.   Add italian seasoning and parsley.  Simmer on medium low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. 


 
In the same pan, add in the drained pasta.  Stir in parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded cheese. 


 
Turn on toaster (oven) broiler.  I used my toaster oven since it was faster!

 
Place pasta in a baking dish.  I used 2 mini baking dishes but an 8x8 square baking dish would also work.   Top with remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheese.  Bake in broiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and melted.




I served this with a side of green beans.  




Serves 2-4.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage


I was craving chinese food and what's easier than making some fried rice?  Its always best to use cold, leftover rice (at least a day old) because it will just be too mushy if you used freshly made rice.  I have a rice cooker so I'm always making extra rice to have leftovers.  What can I say?  I'm Chinese and I love rice :)  I clearly don't eat rice every day and my mom thinks I'm crazy if I don't make any rice for my dinners.  Also, what I love about fried rice is you can basically throw it together with anything you have.  You can substitute a different protein if you don't have access to chinese sausage.  As well as any vegetables you prefer, fresh or frozen.  If you haven't made fried rice before, you should try it!  


Ingredients

3 cup rice, leftover
4 chinese sausages, diced (You can substitute any kind of protein available.)
¼ cup frozen peas and carrots
¼ cup frozen corn
3 eggs
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoons oil
salt
ground black pepper



 
Directions

In a wok or large frying pan, over medium heat, add in oil and cook diced chinese sausages.



Add in rice and stir well to get it coated in the oil. (You should always use leftover, cold rice!)

 
Add in soy sauce and oyster sauce.

 
Make a well in the rice and add in eggs, one at a time.   Stir to mix in with the rice.


Add in frozen vegetables and stir to mix.


Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!