Monday, January 16, 2017

Coconut Bundt Cake

It's been awfully cold and blustery here in the North. So when I needed to make a birthday cake recently, I wanted to evoke some sort of tropical paradise. If it's cold here, at least we can pretend to be warm by eating cake that's chock full of coconut!

This cake is so easy - and SO delicious. I got multiple requests for the recipe.

So whether you need to pretend you're in paradise, or not, get the ingredients to make this wonderful cake! I also think this would be wonderful at Easter, decorated with Easter candies in addition to the toasted coconut. Hmmm. I'm looking forward to Easter already!

Find more inspiration at Mix it Up, Inspiration Monday, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, What's Cookin, Wow Me, Wow Us, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Coconut Bundt Cake

1 white cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding,
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup toasted coconut

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, sugar, oil, water and coconut extract and beat for three minutes. Stir in the coconut.Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and cool completely.

For frosting, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. If necessary, add milk, a teaspoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Alternatively, add powdered sugar if you need to. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, then sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Serves 16.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef in Training

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chicken and Brie Flatbread with Spinach and Raspberries

I love, love, love flatbread and all the different combinations that can be invented. This was a quick dinner that I "threw together" for convenience and to use up leftovers. And sometimes those turn into the best dinners!

I loved the combination here of spinach and brie with just a hint of raspberries to for color and to brighten the flavors. I'll need to make sure I have these ingredients "leftover" again soon!

Although we ate this for dinner, it would make a fabulous snack/appetizer for all those football games coming up, or any kind of party you're throwing. And you could easily sub blackberries for the raspberries, or a different kind of cheese if you don't have brie. It's all very versatile.

If you're using cooked chicken (I had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge) this dinner/app can be ready in a matter of minutes. It will probably take longer to heat up your oven than to throw this together.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Full Plate, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Chicken and Brie Flatbread with Spinach and Raspberries

2 large Naan or flatbreads (garlic or regular)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup cooked, shredded chicken
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
8 slices Brie
10-12 fresh raspberries

Place flatbreads on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Divide the mozzarella cheese between the flatbreads, then top with spinach, chicken, raspberries and Brie. Bake at 425 for 10-13 minutes until flatbread is crispy and cheese is melted. Makes 2 main dish servings or 6-8 appetizer servings.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Seafood Lasagna

I love seafood, especially shrimp, scallops and crab. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It took me a few years, I will admit. I was intimidated by the steps and the many ingredients. But that was a lot of worrying about nothing! This lasagna is DELICIOUS! Seafood with a white cheese sauce, spinach, layers of pasta, ricotta, what is not to love? And it's really not that difficult - just pay attention to the steps.

I adapted this from a recipe that filled a 9x13 pan, which I knew would be way too much seafood lasagna to eat for my family; I put it in a 11x7 which was perfect. I didn't cut the sauce down, though, cause I love a saucy lasagna. You may want to adapt it for your preference.

This is certainly special occasion-worthy dish - but don't be shy like I was. Make this soon!

Find more great ideas at Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Seafood Lasagna

6 oven ready lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces cooked shrimp
8 ounces bay scallops
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. white wine
2 tsp. lemon juice
8 ounces crabmeat

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash ground nutmeg

Ricotta Mixture:
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
5 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add scallops; cook 2-4 minutes or until scallops are firm and opaque. Remove from pan.

Add garlic to same pan; cook 1 minute. Add wine and lemon juice, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1-2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add crab; heat through. Stir in shrimp and scallops.

For cheese sauce, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta mixture ingredients; stir in 1 cup cheese sauce.

Spread 1/2 cup cheese sauce into a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, half of the ricotta mixture, half of the seafood mixture and 2/3 cup cheese sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6-9.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Countdown to 2017: What I'll Make This Year

Happy New Year!

It's the final day of the Countdown hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing, and that means it's a Wild Card - but it's been my tradition to post what I'll make in the New Year. Last year, I only batted .500, making only half the items on my list. I guess the rest should automatically come to this post, but there are too many recipes to choose from!

I really loved the three things I DID make - Seafood Lasagna, Cherry Coffee Cake and Shrimp Scampi Dip. And I'm sure when I make these seven things, I'll really like them, too!

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

Cajun Shrimp Linguine

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp

Nacho Soup

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Samoa Cheesecake

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

Peach and Raspberry Pie Bars

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Reader Favorites of 2016

Wow. It's New Year's Eve already! There have been a lot of great recipes on this blog in 2016, but without further ado, here are YOUR favorites, across all categories, from this past year.

Honey Sesame Chicken {Instant Pot Recipe}

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Cilantro Lime Crema

Frosty Lemon Squares

Ritzy Tilapia

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Be sure to stay tuned tomorrow for what I'll cook in 2017... and thanks again to Sarah at Fantastical Sharing for hosting the countdown.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Best Crock Pot and Instant Pot Dishes of 2016

Today in the Countdown, hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing, we look back at the best Crock pot recipes of this last year as featured here on Cook with Sara. But I couldn't just limit it to the Crock pot -- this year I got an Instant Pot and have loved using it for all sorts of dishes, so I am expanding this category today to include the Instant Pot. I love the instant pot because it can do both - pressure cook and slow cook, among other things. I haven't yet used it to make rice or yogurt, and I have experimented on the many settings, but I've been really pleased with everything I've cooked in it, and have easily adapted crock pot or even stove top meals for the pressure cooker.

If you're considering the IP, but haven't yet taken the plunge, leave me any questions in the comments and I will try to help!

Barbacoa Beef

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps with Quick Pickles

Asian Beef Short Ribs

Macaroni and Cheese

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Best Desserts of 2016

This is almost too difficult a task - how do you narrow it down to just the "best" desserts of 2016? It's not like there were any bad desserts. Really. We should have a post of just all desserts... but that might not keep your attention. So I have managed to narrow it down to five - with a few more coming on Saturday for "reader favorites."

Caramel and White Chocolate Cookies

Blueberry Pancake Ice Cream

Blackberry Orange Cake

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake

Be sure to check out even more favorites lists at Fantastical Sharing!
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