Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gooey Butter Cake

Me, again.  This cake originated in Missouri when an old German baker messed up his cake recipe and the result was this deliciousness. 
Secretly this is a picture of  a piece of store bought ("Store bought?!  Out of an actual STORE?") gooey butter cake, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it looks like. 


1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix

1 stick butter (8 T), melted

1 large egg


1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 stick butter (8 T), melted

3¾ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
For the crust, blend the cake mix, butter and egg in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter should come together in a ball. With your fingertips, pat the batter evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 9 X 13 baking pan, smoothing it out with your fingers until the top is smooth. Set the pan aside. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

For the filling, place the cream cheese in the same mixing bowl that was used to make the crust, and with the same beaters (no need to clean either) blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the eggs, vanilla and melted butter and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on medium speed until the sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the filling onto the crust and spread with the rubber spatula so that the filling covers the entire surface and reaches the sides of the pan.

Bake the cake until it is well browned but the center still jiggles when you shake the pan, 45 to 47 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool, 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Store this cake, covered in aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Toasted Ravioli

This is a St. Louis tradition found in most local pizza places.  You can get an order of this with your pizza  instead of bread sticks and they also sell it in the grocery stores.  I found this recipe on the back of a bag of Seviroli frozen ravioli.

12 frozen ravioli squares, thawed
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. prepared marinara sauce
1/4 tsp. salt optional

Put the marinara sauce in a pot on low/medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Whisk milk and egg in a small bowl to make egg/milk batter.  Place bread crumbs and salt in shallow bowl.  Dip thawed ravioli into the batter and coat with bread crumbs.  Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan until the oil sizzles.  Fry the ravioli one at a time, one minute on each side or until golden brown.  Drain well and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serve with the marinara sauces as a dip.  Serves 4.

Look how fun this is to make!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Favorite Chicken Salad

I'm sure you all have your favorite chicken salad recipes, but is there anything better on a hot summer night?  This is all I feel like eating these days.  Especially since croissants are so stinkin' cheap at Sam's Club.  The best part about this chicken salad?  No celery!

3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Craisins (I like cherry flavored)
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 tsp. tarragon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. course ground pepper

I like this salad served on croissants or pita bread.
 Serves 6

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Amazing Seafood Manicotti

I let each of the girls go through my cookbooks and find a dish they wanted to help me make and Eliza chose this Seafood Manicotti out of the "Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook". This is not a quick meal, but it is fairly easy and man oh man, totally worth the effort! I want to marry it...

Seafood Manicotti

1 quart whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
14 dried manicotti shells
2 lbs unpeeled large fresh shrimp
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbs butter
1 lb fresh crabmeat, drained and flaked
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers

*Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan; cook over medium-high heat 30 minutes or until thickened and reduced to 2 cups. Set aside (This step actually took longer than 30 minutes for us, but since we did other things in the mean time, it all worked out).
*Cook manicotti according to package directions; drain. Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired. Chop shrimp and set aside.
*Saute onion and next 3 ingredients in butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender.
*Add shrimp and crabmeat; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes; drain excess liquid.
*Combine seafood mixture and whipping cream mixture. Fill shells, and place in two lightly greased 11x7-inch baking dishes. Sprinkle with cheese.
*Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Serve hot.