Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chocolate Éclair Cake

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I made this cake for my mom’s birthday when she visited recently. I don’t think birthday cakes need to be traditional so I went with one of her favorite desserts the Éclair. Pinterest is an amazing place and you’ve heard me rave about it before which is where I found this little gem. It’s so much easier than making the traditional éclair's and a super time saver. I did mess up one part because I didn’t read the directions first which was whipping the cream cheese before adding the pudding. Super important if you don’t want chunks of cream cheese. I think I beat it long enough to make them little so you couldn’t tell, but still makes me made when I was making it for a special occasion. I would defiantly make this again! Happy birthday mom!!!

Chocolate Éclair Cake

(Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

 

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Crust:

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

 

Filling:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding

3 cups milk

 

Topping:

1 8 oz. container cool whip (just enough for a thin layer. I don't use the whole container) or one batch of homemade whipped cream

chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce

 

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9"X13" glass baking pan.

 

For the Éclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil.

 

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Remove from heat. Stir in flour.

 

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Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg.

 

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Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Mixture will be very wet. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won't be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. No big deal but I like the crust to go up the sides a bit.

 

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Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don't want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don't touch or push bubbles down).

 

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For the Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding by beating the pudding mix and the milk for 3 minutes and put in the fridge until set.

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Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese.

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Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps.

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Let cool in fridge. When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken Recipe

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Tis the season for crockpot meals, they just make life much easier when you have a ton of things to do. This may not look like much but it’s pretty good, we added some more seasoning while eating to make it a little more spicy and warm us up, but the flavor is good on it’s own.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken Recipe

(Adapted from Fake Ginger)

 

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4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup apple juice

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons ketchup

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup cornstarch

 

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of slow cooker.

 

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In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, apple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, water and soy sauce. Pour sauce on top of chicken. Replace lid and cook 6-8 hours on low.

 

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Remove chicken and shred or cut into chunks.

 

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup of sauce from the crock pot.

 

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Whisk together and pour back into the crock pot to thicken the sauce. Return chicken to the slow cooker and let warm until ready to serve. Serve over rice and garnish with additional red pepper flakes.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Pudding Cookies

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I actually made these last year and forgot to post them. I usually make them throughout the year because they are really easy. After the holidays you can find the flavored JELL-O on clearance. I got the Classic Turtle which I used for this recipe for 25 cents. They make an easy cookie for your next cookie exchange or holiday gift baskets.

Easy Pudding Cookies

(Adapted from JELL-O)


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1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pkg (3.9oz) JELL-O Instant Pudding

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 pkg (6 squares) Baker’s White Chocolate, chopped


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy.


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Add dry pudding mix; beat until well blended.


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Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually add flour. beating after each addition until well blended.


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Stir in chocolate.


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Drop tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.


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Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Candy Cane Cooler

If you are looking for a tasty holiday cocktail to serve at your party this year this is a yummy one that will be on my list.  

Also, if you’re in the NY area make sure to come in from 4-8pm and take advantage of NoMa Social's 4x4 deal during the winter season. Choose any 4 different wines, cocktails, beers and tapas for only 4 dollars each. This little gem is on their menu to in case you are looking for a little holiday spirit while you are out.

Candy Cane Cooler

(Adapted from NoMa Social)

 

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1 tbs crushed soft peppermint candy 1½ fl oz vodka

splash of white creme de menthe

¼ fl oz brandy

½ fl oz half-and-half

Crushed ice

Peppermint stick for garnish

Mint sprig for garnish


Combine the vodka and crushed peppermint.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir and garnish.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce

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I love making seared tuna, because it’s an easy weeknight dish that doesn’t take long to prepare. This time I tried a wasabi cream sauce which is good , but we had to add more wasabi to get the flavor and heat we wanted. I also added in some wasabi powder to the mashed potatoes which gave them a good kick with the dish.

Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce

(Adapted from Celebration Generation)

 

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2 Tbsp black peppercorns

1 tsp white peppercorns (optional)

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp salt

4 Sashimi grade tuna steaks

1 Tbsp + wasabi powder*

2 Tbsp water *

2 tsp rice vinegar

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp olive oil

* If you don’t have wasabi powder, use ~ 2 Tbsp prepared wasabi, omitting the water.

 

In a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle, grind peppercorns, sesame seeds, and salt together until it becomes a relatively fine powder. Spread mixture on a plate.

 

One at a time, press tuna steaks into the spice mixture, coating both sides. Use hands to press additional spice mixture into any areas missed, Set tuna steaks aside.

 

In a saucepan (NOT over heat!), whisk together wasabi powder and water until smooth, allow to sit for 5 minutes.

 

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When 5 minutes have passed, whisk in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and heavy cream. Turn burner heat on to medium, heat sauce just to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently for 5 minutes, as you prepare the tuna steaks.

 

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Heat olive oil in a nonstick fry pan or skillet. Gently transfer tuna steaks to the pan, leaving at least 1″ space between each. Cook for a minute and a half on the first side, then flip and cook a minute and a half on the second side. This will give you a nice rare tuna steak – cook for longer if you prefer it to be more cooked.


Slice tuna steaks, fan them out, and serve with wasabi cream sauce.

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