Cowboy Casserole

[Placeholder text because this isn’t a real post; I’m just getting the recipe up quick and dirty.]

Cowboy Casserole
Print Recipe
Prep Time
10-20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Prep Time
10-20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Cowboy Casserole
Print Recipe
Prep Time
10-20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Prep Time
10-20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place frozen tots in 9x13 pan.
  3. Beat together eggs, milk, and spices.
  4. Stir in cheese and any meat or veggies.
  5. Pour egg mixture over frozen tots.
  6. Bake in 350° oven for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is melted, tots are browned, and egg is solidified.
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Mmmmm….cake

Originally appeared on Tasteful Diversions 11/15/11. It has been FAR too long since I’ve made one of these. Must fix that soon.

Cake with glaze and berries
Cake shown with glaze and berries.

It occurs to me that my practice of linking to online recipes rather than including them here is likely to backfire on me at some point, when  a recipe gets moved or the blog I found it on is gone, or any number of other things. So, from now on, I’ll be adding those recipes to the blog as well as linking to the source. The first one of these is a scrumptious, versatile, and just stupidly easy yogurt cake, which I discovered via the magic of Pinterest. (I’ve also added my go-to bread, blackberry cobbler, and lime cupcakes to the Recipes page, so those are there now.) [Lola note: that was for the old blog. But I’ll get them all moved over here eventually!]

The recipe I found was modified from a recipe found on another site, but I went ahead and modified it even further. I’ve made this recipe twice now, and both times I used the 170ml size yogurt  that’s commonly available here in the US (I used Chobani both times, honey flavor the first time and strawberry the second). I also just used regular ol’ sugar, though the original recipe calls for caster sugar (which is much finer than regular granulated sugar). Finally, the biggest mod I made was, the first time, an accident.

Zacky and I were in the middle of throwing our ingredients into the bowl, and I popped open the fridge to grab the milk…which we were out of. We had already added both wet and dry ingredients, so stopping for a trip to the market wasn’t really an option. I asked myself: what do I have that’s liquid and non-alcoholic? The answer: apple juice. My biggest concern was for the texture of the cake, and I have to tell you, it came out incredibly moist. It was dense without being heavy, had a nice crumb while still being silky on the tongue. I so <3 this cake. That one got eaten without any glaze or anything.

This past weekend, we had another shindig to go to and I decided to bake another one of these cakes, only to take it a step further and go with OJ, which I also used for the liquid in the glaze. As noted above, I used strawberry yogurt this time and also put some lightly macerated berries between the layers and on top. So good. Oh — one more thing: the first time, I baked the cake in an angel food cake pan, and this time I baked two rounds. Both came out just fine.

I’m gonna make another one for the party we’re going to this weekend. I think I have finally found a go-to cake recipe, and I love that it’s so, so easy. Did I mention the best part? You use the yogurt cup for all your “cup” measurments, plus it’s a one bowl recipe. Love. It.

Cuppa Yogurt Cake
Print Recipe
Moist, dense yogurt cake made with a cuppa this and a cuppa that, using the yogurt cup as the measure. Originally discovered on The Boys Made Me Do It, via Pinterest.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Cuppa Yogurt Cake
Print Recipe
Moist, dense yogurt cake made with a cuppa this and a cuppa that, using the yogurt cup as the measure. Originally discovered on The Boys Made Me Do It, via Pinterest.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a bundt, angel food cake, or two 9" round pans.
  3. Mix all ingredients until smooth. (I know, it's not super specific. Seriously, just dump everything together in a bowl and mix it all up.)
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes (a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center should come out clean).
  6. Allow to cool in pans, then remove from pans and top as desired.
Recipe Notes

*If you don't have any self-rising flour on hand, you can make it yourself by combining 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

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Better-than-boxed Brownies

Yep, another re-publish from Tasteful Diversions. Next week it’ll be a new one, I promise. 

To follow up last week’s lemonade recipe, I give you brownies. Specifically, I’m publishing these two recipes close together because one of my very favorite summertime combos is brownies and lemonade.

I avoided making brownies from scratch for years because not only were they WAAAAY too much effort (double boiler? No thank you very much!) but they also never came out fudgy like I like them. Then I stumbled across this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated which is only slightly more work than making from a box (no double boiler!) AND makes the fudgiest brownies I’ve ever had.

Better-than-boxed Brownies
Print Recipe
These brownies are perfect every time...dense and fudgy on the inside with a lovely crisp top. (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010)
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Better-than-boxed Brownies
Print Recipe
These brownies are perfect every time...dense and fudgy on the inside with a lovely crisp top. (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010)
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line 13×9 pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling water together until smooth.
  4. Add in unsweetened chocolate and continue to whisk until chocolate is melted.
  5. Whisk in melted butter and oil. [CI notes at this point that the mixture may look curdled; I have not had this issue.]
  6. Whisk in eggs, yolks, and vanilla.
  7. Whisk in sugar.
  8. Stir in flour and salt [CI indicates a rubber spatula for this part; I use a wooden spoon and it seems to work fine] until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  9. Fold in chips.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350° 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan on a rack for 1 1/2hrs.
  12. Using foil, remove brownies from pan and place on rack to cool another hour before serving.*
Recipe Notes

*Okay, look, this is 2 1/2 hours of cooling time. I don’t know about you, but there is no chance in hell that fresh brownies are going to get that much alone time at my house. I usually make it about 45 minutes before I start cutting.

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Freeky Good Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bitten CookieEver since Kit discovered he’s wildly gluten intolerant, I’ve been trying to recreate his favorite foods. The thing he always requested the most before he went all freeky* were my chocolate chip cookies.

The first thing I tried was just throwing in some gluten free all purpose flour mix. It turns out one of the flours used in most GF AP flour blends is tapioca…which makes my throat start to close up. So that’s no good. Also, the texture wasn’t great. Then I played around with a bunch of other combinations and found a mix of rice flours and oat flour that made a decent tasting but very crumbly cookie.

For Father’s Day last year, we got him a bunch of gluten free cookbooks, including one that had amaranth flour in just about every recipe for doughy things. It was also the only GF source I’d seen that didn’t recommend xanthan gum for everything chewy. (If you don’t know what xanthan gum actually is, go have a look. I’ll wait. Gross, right? Oh and bonus, if you’re sensitive to xanthan gum, which isn’t uncommon, it gives you the same symptoms as being glutened.) The only drawback to amaranth flour is that it tastes like dirt. Literal dirt from the ground. If you’ve ever had to clean something very, very dusty and gotten that taste in your mouth, that’s the taste of amaranth.

So I played a little more. Coconut flour was promising, but does have a strong coconut flavor. I happen to like coconut, but it’s not the flavor profile I was going for. I went back to the oat, which was nice, but you could still taste the amaranth under it. I added a little coconut back in, and bingo! Good taste, good chew, good cookie.

I was, frankly, shocked the first time I bit into one of these. It’s not a good gluten free cookie. It’s a good cookie, that happens to be gluten free. I am super proud of these. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

gfcc_plate

 

*Being gluten free sucks pretty hard. In an effort to lighten it up, we started calling it being a gluten freek. It turns out we are not the only clever ones — there are several blogs who use the term, and even a couple of gluten free beers.

Freeky Good Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free version
Servings Prep Time
48 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
11 minutes per sheet 2 minutes per sheet
Servings Prep Time
48 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
11 minutes per sheet 2 minutes per sheet
Freeky Good Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free version
Servings Prep Time
48 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
11 minutes per sheet 2 minutes per sheet
Servings Prep Time
48 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
11 minutes per sheet 2 minutes per sheet
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  3. In mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugars.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  5. Add half of each flour, the baking soda, and the salt, mixing until fully incorporated. (If you prefer to do this more traditionally, you can mix together all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add that mix half at a time. I just prefer not to dirty another bowl, because I am lazy and I haven't noticed it makes any difference at all in the final product.)
  6. Add the rest of the flours and mix thoroughly.
  7. Fold chocolate chips into dough, distributing as evenly as possible. (I like to use a wooden spoon for this, but whatever works is fine.)
  8. Scoop dough onto lined cookie sheet in teaspoonfuls. (You can use one of those fancy cookie scooper things if that's your bag, but I just use a regular kitchen spoon.)
  9. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until slightly brown and no longer wet looking on top.
  10. Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes.
  11. Transfer to cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

* Some people who have celiac cannot tolerate oats, even those labeled gluten free. If that is the case for you or your freek, I recommend using 1/2 cup of brown rice flour and a 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour in place of the oat flour.

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