Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fruit Cocktail Cake

This is one of my absolute favorite cakes.  The first time my mom told me about it, I thought it sounded...well, not so appetising.  And I'm not gonne lie, even the end result does not LOOK very appetising either.  However, she told me that my dad, who does not usually care for sweets, actually went back for SECONDS when he tasted it for the first time.  So I decided to give it a shot and it has been a family favorite ever since.  This cake is so moist, sweet and melt in your mouth good.  Don't knock this one until you try it! :)


1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 can fruit cocktail (undrained)
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 stick margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all of the cake ingredients together in a mixing bowl, except the brown sugar.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkled brown sugar evenly on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

When cake is done and still warm, in a saucepan, combine the drizzle ingredients and heat through on med-high heat until sugar is melted. (about 3-5 min)  When heated through, pour over prepared cake.  Allow time for the cake to absorb all of this delicous goodness for about 20 minutes.  Serve warm with a side of vanilla ice cream or dollup of cool whip.

Gluten free:  use GF all purpose flour and a bit less of the drizzle topping, otherwise the cake will be a bit too mushy in the end.  For some reason the GF cake mix does not absorb the drizzle quite the same as a regular cake would.

Ham and Pineapple Kabobs

Easy and delicious!!  Especially if you are like me and tend to have leftover ham around your house often.  Give this one a shot!   Perfect for summer time grilling!

  • Ham cubes (or slices)
  • Pineapple (pre-heat if fresh)
  • Skewers
  • 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice (pre-heat if fresh)
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • Ginger to taste
  1. Place ham and pineapple on skewers.
  2. Mix juice with remaining ingredients.
  3. Marinate for 2 hours.
  4. Baste on the grill
  5. Grill until heated through
TIP from goodnessgracious.com (and trust me you will want to follow this!):  If using fresh pinneapple, preheat in microwave for 30 seconds before adding to skewers so that it does not tenderize the meat and break it down.  Canned pinneapple should not have this problem.

Gluten free: use GF soy sauce, such as La Choy.

Recipe adapted by goodnessgracious.com from:

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Photo from goodnessgracious.com

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guide to making the perfect steak.

For years now, me and my husband have never known how to cook the perfect steak.  Almost always, they are over cooked, or wayyyy too red in the middle.  We are medium rare people.  I don't know why we never thought to do this before, but this past weekend, we finally sat down to search on the Internet how to make the perfect steak.  There are lots of links you can click on and even videos for you to watch, but we found this site and found it particularly helpful.  It is very detailed and gives you several different cooking options.

What we did:

1) Bought two Ribeye steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)- with a bit of marbling, which means it is a fattier steak...lean meat does not cook quite as well...not as juicy anyway.
2)  Sat them on the counter about an hour and 15 minutes before we started grilling.  They should be close to room temperature.
3) After preparing the grill and steaks as the directions on the link below directs (just sea salt and pepper), we grilled our steaks (with the lid CLOSED) for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
4) After taking the steaks off the heat, we let them rest for about 8 minutes before indulging in their juicy goodness.


These steaks were melt in your mouth good.  They were so juicy and tender.  I couldn't believe how good they turned out.  I'm sure they will just get better and better too as my husband perfects his steak-grilling technique. :)  I served them with a side of roasted garlic and Parmesan mashed potatoes and green beans on the side.  Soooo good!!  I love BBQ/Grilling season!!

Photo from sheknows.com (who also has some great steak grilling tips and recipes!)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vegetable Cheese Soup

This was a delicious, creamy, cheesy soup that me and my husband really liked. And it was so simple. While one thing was simmering, I was chopping my veggies, or prepping for the next step in the recipe. It was great. I didn't waste any time. I used the pre-cubed Simply potatoes with onion and that was just one less step for me to have to do as well! I added a bit of extra cayenne also because I liked the flavor it was giving the soup! I hope you enjoy this one as well!

2 (10 3/4 oz) can of chicken broth
2 tsp or 2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced potatoes
1/4 cup butter
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup flour
dash of cayenne pepper
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, bouillon, and onion. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the celery, carrots, and butter. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
3.Add the potatoes and simmer until tender – about 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until smooth.
Gradually add the milk mixture to the vegetable mixture stirring constantly.
Add shredded cheese and cayenne. Blend until cheese in melted. Serves 6. Gluten free: skip the bouillon, or if you can find a GF one then that's great! maybe just add some garlic salt to give it some extra salt flavor instead. Also use GF all purpose flour blend.

Recipe and photo from realmomkitchen.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baked Penne

This was a simple, basic, easy dinner.  I love that.  I loved the flavors of the sausage with the cooking cream and pasta.  Makes great left overs too!

1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef or Italian Sausage
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup green peppers
1 jar(24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 tub(10 oz.) Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme, divided
1 cup Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
3 cups cooked penne pasta

Heat oven to 350°F.
Brown meat with vegetables in large nonstick skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce, 3/4 cup cooking creme and 1/2 cup mozzarella; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted. Add pasta; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole; top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella. Cover. Bake 20 min. or until heated through, uncovering after 15 min.

Gluten free: use GF pasta of choice and double check your spaghetti sauce.

Recipe and photo from plainchicken.com