Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mini Cinnamon Bundt Cakes

My darling friend Jenny gave me a mini-bundt pan for my birthday. I've been having fun adapting down recipes for full size bundt cakes. This recipe will work big or small. 1 yellow cake mix
1 small vanilla pudding
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c.water
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
powdered sugar and milk for glaze

Mix cake mix, pudding, oil, water and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time until smooth. In a separate bowl mix cinnamon and sugar. Pour half of batter in a greased bundt pan (or in mini bundt pans). Sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over the top of the batter. Pour the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and then invert cake onto a serving dish. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 T. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir until mixture forms a smooth glaze (may need to add a little more milk if it's too thick). Drizzle over cake.

Cinnamon French Toast Sticks w/Caramel Syrup

Usually I'm not picky about ingredients, but this recipe turns out best if you use Chunky Cinnamon Bread from Kneaders Bakery. It is TO DIE for! If you don't live in Utah or Arizona you can get by with any loaf of hearty cinnamon bread, but I'm apologizing ahead of time because it just won't be as good :0)

1 loaf Chunky Cinnamon Bread from Kneaders (yes, it has a little frosting on top)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt

Cut loaf in thick slices (about 1 inch). In shallow bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and salt. Dredge the bread slices in the egg mixture one at a time and place in a medium hot skillet (melt butter in skillet then place bread slices on top). Cook on both sides till golden. Remove from heat and cut each slice of bread in to strips. Serve with caramel syrup.

1 1/2 stick of butter
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
3 T. white corn syrup
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. vanilla
Mix butter, sugar, buttermilk and corn syrup in a large pan and bring to a boil. Boil 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla and stir well. The baking soda will cause the syrup mixture to bubble and raise, so be sure to use a large pan when making this recipe.

Chocolate Won Tons

My girls are obsessed with Nutella, so this dish is a favorite around our house. These are seriously SO EASY to make and you don't need to dip them in anything, just pop them in your mouth and .... YUM!

Won Ton wrappers
Nutella (Chocolate Hazlenut Spread)
Oil for frying

Place a small teaspoonful of Nutella in the center of a won ton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and run water around the edge of half the won ton. Fold the other half over the top (forming a triangle) and seal the edges, making sure to get a good seal so the Nutella won't leak out during frying. Heat oil in small skillet (or use an electric fryer on 350 degrees if you have one). Drop won tons in the grease and fry, flipping once to brown on both sides. They take only seconds to brown so watch them close.

Drain on paper towels and serve while hot.

Lo Mein Noodles

My picky 10 year old loves chow mein noodles at Panda Express. When I started searching for mock recipes, I found out that typically the dish is called lo mien. You can use spaghetti noodles for this recipe but real chow mein noodles from the Asian section taste better.

chow mein noodles (or spaghetti noodles) cooked according to pkg. directions
2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
1-2 stalks chopped celery
2 small scallions, chopped
1 carrot, sliced thin
vegetable oil
1 c. chicken broth
1-2 T. soy sauce
1-2 T. sesame oil
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
Red pepper flakes (to taste)

In a hot wok pour 1-2 T. vegetable oil and add the cabbage, celery, scallions, and carrots. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Return wok to stove top, add 1-2 T. more vegetable oil and quickly stir fry the cooked noodles until lightly browned (only takes a couple of minutes). Remove from heat and add the veggies. Toss. Return to medium heat and add the chicken broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat. Mix water and cornstarch together until smooth. Slowly stir in to the noodles and cook/stir until sauce starts to thicken. Add red pepper flakes if desired and more soy sauce if a darker color is desired. Could also add a little Hoison sauce if desired.

Mock Panda Express Orange Chicken

I was excited to find Panda Express sauces at the grocery store the other day. I bought the "orange chicken" one and we whipped up a little Chinese feast. I thought the sauce was a little hot and spicy but my kids reminded me that it's hot and spicy at Panda too, so there you go!
3-4 chicken breasts, thawed (can use chicken tenders)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. flour
2 eggs
Oil for frying
1 bottle Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce

Cut chicken breasts in to cubes and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the cornstarch and flour in one bowl and then crack and beat the two eggs in a separate bowl. Heat oil (about 2 inches deep) in a skillet on medium heat (or use an electric fry cooker at 350 degrees if you have one). Roll chicken pieces in the flour mixture first, then in the eggs (opposite of what you would normally do, but I promise it works). Immediately drop in to hot grease and fry until nice and golden brown (only takes a few minutes). Work in batches and place chicken on paper towels to drain after frying.
Once all chicken has been fried, place chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour sauce over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Turkey Pot Pie

Finally got around to cooking a turkey that's been in my freezer since Christmas, making this an official "turkey leftovers" week. I found this recipe, tried it and LOVED it. I even made an extra pie for a friend, and her family loved it too. Don't be intimidated - I threw it together and had it in the oven in less than 30 minutes.

1 (2 pack) Marie Calendar Frozen Pie Crust
1 box long grain and wild rice (I love the Uncle Ben's kind)
3 cups leftover turkey, chopped (could use rotisserie chicken)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can chopped water chestnuts
1 tsp. chicken bullion OR 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Unwrap pie crusts, remove them from their tins, let rest on counter to thaw for about 20 minutes (they may break a little, but that is o.k.) Get the long grain rice cooking according to the package directions (takes about 25 minutes). While rice simmers, chop the peppers, onions, mushrooms. Heat a skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Saute the peppers, onions and mushrooms in the oil until softened, translucent and a bit carmelized. Dump in the turkey and stir it around, then remove from heat. Drain water chestnuts and stir them in. Next, add the mayo, sour cream and chicken bullion. Stir it all up. Dump in the cooked rice and stir again. Finally, carefully stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.

To assemble: Using the two empty pie tins, fill both with equal parts of the turkey mixture. Go back to your thawed pie crusts and carefully dust some flour underneath them, then push them down flat (don't freak out if they crack and break - it's o.k.) Carefully cut off the decorative edges from one pie crust and set them aside (they may be in pieces, again - it's o.k.) Roll out the remaining dough with a rolling pin until it comes together (press cracks together as needed). Cut strips from this dough and place over the pie in a lattice pattern. Once the lattice pieces are on, trim them, then press the pieces with the decorative edge all back around the outside of each pie. Repeat with second pie shell.

Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.

**EASIER OPTION: Instead of cutting strips and making a lattice pattern, just roll out your dough and cover the entire pie with crust. Cut slits to vent and arrange decorative pieces around the edges for a finishing touch.