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Cookies and Cream cake

Rob fell in love with an Oreo cake sold at Stop and Shop. The cake is light and fluffy, and the icing has little crushed up Oreos in it. Even I have to admit, it’s a damn good cake for a grocery store cake. But, it is a grocery store cake, and I set out on a personal mission to make a better one. This is definitely it. The recipe is only slightly modified from this one over at HonestandTasty.com. Its super easy to make and well worth the effort!

Total hands on time: 1-1:30 hours

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 2.5 sticks  Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2.5 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 9  TBSP Heavy Cream
  • 30 oz Powdered Sugar
  • 18-20 Newman O’s + a few extra for decorating the top of the cake
INSTRUCTIONS
FOR THE CAKE:
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray 2, 9 inch round springform pans with Baking Pam, then top with 9 inch round Parchment circles. Respray with Pam. Wrap the bottom of the springform pans with aluminum foil to protect against drips.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sift together into another bowl or onto a large paper plate.
  4. In the bowl of the stand mixer add oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients, combine and mix on low speed. Don’t over mix.
  6. Add water and mix again to combine it all together. Don’t over mix.
  7. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 28-30 minutes or just until a toothpick/fork poked into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the outside of the springform. Once cool, flip cakes onto a sheet of parchment and remove the bottom of the springform and parchment paper.
FOR THE FROSTING:
  1. Place Newman O’s into a sealed plastic bag, and crush them up with mallet or rolling pin. Set aside.
  2. In the stand mixer combine butter, vanilla extract, heavy cream.  Mix to combine.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar and mix for 3-5 minutes to whip it well.
  4. Add crushed cookies into frosting and mix in.
  5. Frost the cake, then devour!

Lemon Cake

The perfect spring cake recipe. I ran across this on Pinterest and it actually turned out perfectly.

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tSP kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract

For the icing

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice, (from about 1/2 a large lemon), plus 1 TBSP if needed
  • 1 TBSP freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

  • Grease two 9 inch round springform pans, parchment paper is not needed.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together Cake Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together the Buttermilk and Egg Whites
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, add Lemon Zest and Sugar. Using your fingers, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until sugar is moist and well combined.
  • Add the Butter to the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for a minimum of 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the Lemon Extract.
  • Add in 1/3 of the Flour Mixture, then beat on medium speed until combined.
  • Continue on medium speed and add in 1/2 of the Buttermilk Mixture.
  • Add another 1/3 of the Flour Mixture, then add the remaining Buttermilk Mixture. Beat until smooth.
  • Stir in the remaining Flour Mixture, then continue mixing on medium speed for at least 2 more minutes until well combined and very airy.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and use a spatula to level off the tops.
  • Bake for 35-40 mins until springy and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing the springform pan. Then remove the cakes from the bottom pan, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the icing:

  • Use the stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • Mix the Cream Cheese and Butter on medium speed for at least 3 minutes until well combined and smooth.
  • Reduce to stirring speed and add in the Powdered Sugar, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest, Vanilla, and Salt. Once the sugar begins to incorporate increase the speed to medium.
  • Mix on medium speed for at least 3 minutes until the ingredients are well combined and frosting is light and fluffy.  May add additional Lemon Juice if needed to thin.
  • You may need to put the cake in the refrigerator for an hour or so to set the icing.

Rolled Spinach Omelet

http://www.marthastewart.com/335400/family-style-rolled-omelet-with-spinach?center=276953&gallery=274992&slide=262377

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

Whipped Potato

  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP ground black pepper

Filling

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 TSP sugar
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 medium carrots, processed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1 12 ounce bottle dark beer (Guinness)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 TSP finely minced rosemary leaves
  • Shredded cheddar
  1. Make whipped potato.
  2. Fry bacon in large pan. Transfer via slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. Sauté onion in bacon fat until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in sugar and cook, sitting, until onions begin to carmelize, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef and cook until browned.
  7. Add carrots and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in tomato paste and flour and blend completely.
  9. Pour in beer and bring to a boil. Scrape up fond.
  10. Add broth, rosemary, bacon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  11. Lower heat and simmer uncovered until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.
  12. Spoon meat mixture into 2.5 quart casserole dish. Top with potato.
  13. Bake for 35 minutes.
  14. Top with cheddar. Bake for 10 minutes.
  15. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken Parm

Not a recipe so much as an ingredient list.

  • Chicken thighs
  • Pasta sauce
  • Italian sausage (optional, only if you have time to let them stew in the sauce all day)
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Sliced mozzarella
  • Olive oil

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 3lb boneless beef short ribs, trimmed into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1.5 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Baby carrots (as tolerated)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Method

  1. Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pressure cooker on sauté and brown half of meet on all sides. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Add more oil to pressure cooker and heat until smoking. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Store in tomato paste and thyme, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Reduce slightly, about 1 minute.
  6. Stir in remaining ingredients (less parsley) and beef.
  7. Bring to a boil with the lid off.
  8. Cook under pressure for 30 minutes.
  9. Let set for 15 minutes, release pressure.
  10. Add parsley, remove bay leaves (if possible).

Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 2 6.5 oz cans tomato sauce
  • .5 cup water
  • 2 tbsp white sugar (optional?)
  • 1.5 tsp tried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • .25 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. In dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp salt, pepper, and 2 tbsp parsley. Simmer, covered, for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook lasagna noodles for 8-10 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. Mix ricotta, egg, 2 tbsp parsley, and .5 tsp salt.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F.
  6. In the 9×13″ ceramic baking dish:
    1. Spread 1.5 cups of meat sauce.
    2. Layer 6 noodles.
    3. Spread half the ricotta mixture.
    4. Top with a third of the mozzarella slices.
    5. Spread 1.5 cups of meat sauce.
    6. Sprinkle .25 cup Parmesan cheese.
    7. Repeat layers, top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Cover with release foil.
  8. Bake 25 minutes.
  9. Remove foil, bake 25 additional minutes.
  10. Cool 15 minutes before cutting.