Sunday, April 24, 2016

Asian BBQ pulled pork

Marinade Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sriracha
1 Tbsp.  chili sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used sweet baby ray’s)

1 boneless pork ribeye roast (2-3 lbs)
Guy Fieri Asian BBQ and Wok sauce

Mix all ingredients (except for roast and Wok sauce) together in a bowl.  Set aside.
Place roast in crockpot with 2 cups of water.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Place minced garlic and onion on top of roast.  Pour half of the marinade mixture over the roast.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Add more water to the bottom of the crock if needed. 

Place roast in a bowl.  It will be tender and fall apart.  Shred with two forks.  Add the rest of the marinade and mix.  Add ¼ cup Guy Fieri Asian BBQ and Wok Sauce and stir until meat is coated. 

Serve warm plain or as a sandwich. I put my meat on a toasted garlic bun and added a bit more wok sauce.  Completely amazing!!!  Perfect blend of sweet and spicy Asian flavors. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pioneer Woman Strawberry Shortcake Cake

1-1/2 cup Flour
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
1-1/2 cup Sugar
3 whole Large Eggs
1/2 cup Sour Cream, Room Temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 pound Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
2 sticks Unsalted Butter
1-1/2 pound Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound Strawberries

IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep! Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.  Cream 9 tablespoons butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.

Pour into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until no longer jiggly like my bottom. Remove from cake pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries in two batches. Sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.

Make icing: combine cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.

Slice cake in half through the middle. Spread strawberries evenly over each half (cut side up), pouring on all the juices. Place cake halves into the freezer for five minutes, just to make icing easier.

Remove from freezer. Use a little less than 1/3 of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining 1/3 cup around the sides.

Leave plain OR garnish with strawberry halves.

IMPORTANT: Cake is best when served slightly cool. The butter content in the icing will cause it to soften at room temperature. For best results, store in the fridge!

This cake was amazing! No ifs, ands or buts about it.  A must try summer dessert! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

No Bake Lemon Cookie Truffles

16 oz. package lemon sandwich cookies
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 tsp. lemon juice
16 oz. package almond bark (or white chocolate candy coating)
yellow jimmies/sprinkles (optional)

Place cookies in a processor and crush until they are fine crumbs (if you don't have a food processor, you can put cookies in a resealable plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs). Place crumbs in a medium bowl. Add cream cheese and lemon juice.  Mix until well-blended. Roll cookie mixture into 1 inch balls (makes about 48 balls). Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or wax paper and stick in the fridge for about 45 minutes.

Melt almond bark according to directions on package. Dip each cookie ball in almond bark and place back on lined cookie sheet. Top with yellow sprinkles (if desired). Repeat with remaining cookie balls and place back in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Store leftover truffles in a covered container in the fridge.

These truffles were easy to make and a nice refreshing spring treat. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pineapple Lime Grilled Chicken with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Mango-Pineapple Salsa
 3 – Ripe Ataulfo (Yellow) Mangos. 2 larger regular mangos may also be used.
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
1 small chopped red onion
1 small bunch chopped cilantro
3 limes
1 can of chipotles in adobo sauce *
3 tablespoons of honey

Cut mangos in to small pieces and place in large bowl. Combine half can crushed pineapple to the mangos reserving juice and remaining half for chicken marinade. Add chopped red onions, half the bunch of chopped cilantro, juice of one lime, honey, one chopped chipotle pepper and teaspoon of adobo sauce.

*You can add more sauce or chilies, or omit them totally depending on your preference. Remember to always add a little at a time when using chipotles and adobo sauce for the first time. It’s easier to add a little spice then to take it out!

Refrigerate, covered, for a few hours or for best results let sit overnight.

Pineapple Lime Grilled Chicken
½ can crushed pineapples with juice
2 limes, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dry herbs. I like to use tarragon or an herb mixture.
 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
6 pieces butterflied boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 1 whole chicken cut into pieces.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. You can also use some of the juice from your salsa mixture for extra flavor. Reserve about ¼ cup of the marinade to baste the chicken with while it’s cooking. Wash chicken thoroughly; pat dry, and season breasts with salt and pepper. Place in gallon baggies or large glass dish, coat evenly with marinade, and cover. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, best if left to marinade overnight.

If cooking on the stovetop, it is best to use a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and cook 2-3 breasts at a time to avoid overcrowding. Preheat your skillet and add about a tablespoon of oil. Heat in cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, sear on both sides and reduce heat. Cover with lid and cook until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.

If grilling on a bbq outdoors, clean and preheat your grill. Us a cloth or paper towel and oil to brush on grates to keep chicken from sticking. Grill the chicken over moderate heat, flipping once halfway through cooking, brushing the meat periodically with the reserved marinade. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. Grilling times will vary based on the cut of meat and the type of grill you're using.

Let meat rest 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Banana Cake


1.5 cups very ripe bananas (3 fresh bananas or 4 thawed, previously frozen bananas)
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup soft butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups buttermilk (OR milk soured with one tbsp vinegar or lemon juice)

½ cup softened butter
8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
1 tsp vanilla
3.5 cups icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar)

Preheat oven to 275 F, and grease and flour (or spray), a 9x13 cake pan.
Mash banana and mix with lemon juice and set aside.  In a med bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  If you're making your own buttermilk, combine milk and vinegar (or lemon juice) in a small bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.  Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Stir in bananas.

Pour into cake pan and bake 1 hour and 10 mins (or until knife comes out clean). *if need be, cook longer, checking every 10 minutes until cake is fully cooked.

Immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (if not completely cool upon removal from freezer, let cool further before icing).

Cream butter and cream cheese.  Beat in vanilla and icing sugar on low until combined, then high until smooth.

Frost cake and enjoy!

This is one of my favorite recipes I’ve made to date…and I’m not even a fan of bananas.  The banana flavor is mild, just adding a touch of sweetness.  The frosting is amazing.  The cake is super moist.  If you have some bananas that you need to use up, I would definitely recommend this!