February 18, 2010

Test Recipes: Week 1

One of my new year's resolutions for 2010 is to try at least one new recipe each week.  I didn't think to start blogging the recipes right away, or to take pictures, so now I am playing catch up.

SHREDDED TURKEY SANDWICHES (Recipe courtesy of my sister Karen.  Not sure where she got it.)

1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 T butter
1/3 C. ketchup
3 T brown sugar

4 tsp white vinegar
2 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 C. shredded cooked turkey (or chicken, or pork, or whatever you want)
2 Kaiser rolls, split

In a small saucepan, saute the onion in butter. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and fold in turkey. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm on rolls.

So simple, so easy, and so good!  I rated this recipe EXCELLENT.


1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (or make your own)
marinara/pizza sauce
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried Italian seasoning
mozzerella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.  Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. Carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).  Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese. Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top, checking after 10 minutes.  Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

I'm not sure what it was about this recipe, but it just was disappointing to me.  Maybe it was the refrigerated pizza dough I used (I'm spoiled - raised on homemade pizza dough).  Maybe it was the marinara sauce I used (canned....).  I'm not sure.  I thought they were a little dry.  Maybe I should have cut only 18 to make them a little bigger, so as to put more filling in each one.  Who knows, but I rated this recipe BLUE (might not make again).

February 13, 2010

{recipe} Raspberry Crumb Bars

This is the recipe I decided to bring in to work for Valentine's Day: Raspberry Crumb Bars (Taste of Home).


3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shortening
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs and extract. Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining sugar; add berries and gently toss (If using frozen raspberries, do not thaw before tossing with cornstarch mixture). Spoon over crust. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake at 375° for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 131 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 31 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

They were a hit at work today!  For Valentine's Day, I cut them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter :)  This recipe is a keeper!

When I got back to work after lunch, I had a surprise waiting for me: flowers from my sweetie!  Thanks Tony, love ya!

February 9, 2010

{recipe} Cherry Dream Cake

Here is another recipe I tested as the designated Baker Extraordinaire at work.  For each birthday/holiday/office party I have brought in something special.  This cake was for our secretary's birthday. She's not a fan of chocolate or heavily sweet things, so following an extensive food blog recipe search, I came up with this beauty from allrecipes: Cherry Dream Cake.

(Sorry for the poor picture.  I forgot to take a picture before we pigged out, and all I had on me was my phone...)

(I have also seen the cake part of this recipe referred to as Jello Poke Cake, and I bet it can be made with any flavor Jello you want.) I made a few 'lite' changes to the recipe: a) sugar-free cherry jello, b) 'lite' cherry pie filling. I also used a different frosting recipe than what was originally listed. For the frosting I used 'lite' cool-whip, and substituted almond extract for the vanilla in order to enhance the cherry flavor. I hope you followed all that. I'll rewrite the entire recipe below with all my changes. It was soooooooo yummy, and received lots of compliments from everyone in the office. I decided after I made it, that I should have poked twice as many holes in it to get lots of red showing in the cake. It was good nonetheless, and was gone by the 2nd day in the office. Here's the recipe as I made it, with my changes in parentheses:

CHERRY DREAM CAKE (adapted from allrecipes.com)

1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package (SUGAR-FREE) cherry gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 (8 ounce) container (LITE) whipped topping
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (ALMOND) extract
1 (21 ounce) can (LITE) cherry pie filling

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool cake on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes. Poke holes in cake with a meat fork; gradually pour gelatin over cake. cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla (ALMOND EXTRACT) Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain. Carefully spread over cake. Top with the pie filling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

I'm testing a new recipe and an old favorite for Valentine's day, so stay tuned next week!

February 7, 2010

Happy Heart Craft

I had so much fun designing and making this little delight.  I loved it so much, I even made one for each of my five sisters :)  Don't tell them!

*various shades of felt.  Don't you just LOVE the sparkly felt?  I think it's what I love the most about this project.
*fabric scissors/pinking shears
*heart pattern in two sizes.  I traced cookie cutters onto a cereal box and cut them out.  This worked really well.  They held their shape great while i traced them almost 60 times onto the felt.
*pencil/pen (for tracing)
*spray adhesive
*festive ribbon
*glue gun

First I cut all my hearts out, then randomly paired them up.  Using the spray adhesive, I sprayed only the backs of the small hearts.  On the first heart, I sprayed both the small and large hearts, but soon found that all the exposed parts of the large heart remained sticky (I thought it would dry non-tacky, but no such luck).  I let them dry overnight, then assembled the next day.

A dot of glue on the top and bottom 'points' of the heart was just enough to secure it to the ribbon.  I cut a 1" square spacer out of scrap felt to make sure the hearts were spaced equally apart.  Finally, a little ribbon loop for hanging glued to the top heart, and it was done!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy! 

And totally cute :)