Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Carrot Cake

I have been searching for the perfect carrot cake recipe and got this one from a friend.  It is delicious, not dry and not soggy...and the frosting is amazing!  -Kristin

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1 cup coconut or chopped walnuts (optional)

1 stick of butter, soft
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
  • Mix the sugar, eggs and vegetable oil well.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients.
  • Bake in a lightly greased 9x13 pan at 350 for 45-55 minutes.
  • Cool completely.
  • For frosting:  Beat the butter first until smooth.
  • Then add the softened cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Frost completely cooled cake.

Open Faced Italian Sloppy Joes

I adapted this recipe off of this blog Once a Mom Always a Cook.  This was a huge hit!  -Kristin

1 # ground beef
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 onion, chopped finely
1 green pepper, chopped finely
8 oz sliced mushrooms, optional
15 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1-2 Tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
A loaf of French bread
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
Parmesan cheese

  • Brown ground beef with the garlic, onion and green pepper.
  • When beef is almost done cooking add the mushrooms if desired and continue cooking till done.
  • Drain grease.
  • Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, garlic salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, honey and salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer for a few minutes.
  • Cut the french bread equally down the middle.  Then hollow out the middle.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil and place the hollowed out french bread on there.
  • Fill with the meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in a 350 oven until cheese is melted good.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

This is a meal I have made several times.  It is awesome!  I have used all brown rice for the rice before and it was still awesome!  

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1/2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 cups steamed white rice
2 cups wild rice
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup broth
3-4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Preheat oven and lightly grease a lasagna pan or a 9x13 casserole dish.
  • Cook your rices.
  • Heat oil in large pan and add onion, celery and carrots.  Saute for about 8 minutes.  Cover the pan and cook for awhile longer until desired tenderness of the carrots. 
  • Uncover the pan and add the garlic.  Saute a minute or two more.
  • In a separate pan melt the butter.
  • Add the flour to the butter.
  • Slowly whisk in the broth and cook until smooth on low heat.
  • Sprinkle with garlic salt, salt and pepper.  Stir in 2 cups of the cheese.
  • In a large bowl or pot stir the rices, chicken, veggies and cheese sauce together and then place into your baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Cheesy Polenta with Meat Sauce

This is a great recipe I got from a friend.  My whole family loved this dinner!  It is easy and tasty!  -Kristin

1# ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
32 ounces tube plain polenta (I got the one called 'corn mush' in the refrigerated section at Meijer)
8 ounce shredded Italian blend cheese

  • Lightly coat 9x13 casserole dish and preheat oven 350.
  • Brown beef and drain. 
  • Stir int he spaghetti sauce.
  • Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch slices and place in the bottom of the 9x13 pan.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the polenta.
  • Pour sauce mixture over the polenta.
  • Bake about 35 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Put back in the oven for a couple minutes until it is melted.