Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chocolate Lover's Favorite Cake

Pete's birthday was in early May, so I made him a big, fat and yummy chocolate cake. I received this recipe years ago, but I don't know who sent it to me. It is very tasty and not at all healthy! Enjoy!

NOTE: I've never used other flavored extracts, but I assume vanilla and even mint extract would be good with this chocolate cake.

Chocolate Lover's Favorite Cake
- 1 box Devil's Food cake mix
- 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup melted butter
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well (hole) in the center and pour in sour cream, melted butter, eggs and extract. Beat on low speed for four minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Stir in chocolate chips and pour cake mix into the greased bundt pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar once the cake is completely cool. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

I love bread with dinner! Who doesn't? I received this recipe years ago, although I don't know who shared it with me. These rolls are incredibly easy (and the recipe can be cut in half). If you don't like garlic, you can omit the garlic butter...but it is SO good! This recipe is fairly cheap and it probably wouldn't be a big deal to substitute milk with water if you don't have milk on hand or have lactose issues. 

Friday night, I served these biscuits alongside linguine with shrimp scampi, which was full of butter, garlic and shrimp. So tasty!

The dough is thick.

Four tasty rolls!

Cheese Garlic Biscuits
- 2 cups buttermilk baking mix (Bisquick)
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
- 1/4 cup butter (melted)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the first three ingredients and mix with a spoon until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons (or whatever sized you'd like your rolls) onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Combine butter with garlic powder and brush over warm biscuits before removing from the cookie sheet. Serve warm. 

Recipe makes 10-12 biscuits, depending on the size that you make them. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

'Tis Triathlon Season

It is once again triathlon season for my husband, Pete, who is training for three half-distance races this summer and Ironman Kona in October. Training for triathlons (especially a full distance race) is like a part-time job. It takes a lot of time out of his schedule and our family's schedule, but Pete is dedicated and I am proud to support him while he accomplishes his goals and "climbs his mountains" in life.

I've met some amazing people through Pete's passion of triathlons and I enjoy cheering his teammates on during races and calling several of them my friends too. They are all inspiring people and while I don't have a strong desire to compete in a triathlon, they inspire me to "climb my mountains" and accomplish my goals in life. 

Ironman Wisconsin 2014
If you're not sure what tri season means, here is a guide!

An indoor training studio complete with CompuTrainer, fan, stereo and television. The indoor studio is for cold and rainy days, otherwise Pete is on the roads of NE Wisconsin training, often with teammates.  

Endless amounts of bikes (and the "need" for more bikes). Tri bike, road bike, mountain bike, fat tire bike...the bikes are endless!

Bike parts and more bike parts.

A massive amount of workout clothes (often left on the floor). Don't even get me started on the smell!

Several bottles of protein and vitamins.

Medical supplies for accidents and road rash!

Endless amounts of water bottles. We probably don't have nearly as many water bottles as other athletes, but between March and October, we clean water bottles every day. I imagine cleaning water bottles is just as annoying as cleaning baby bottles!

I am beyond proud of Pete! He is an incredible athlete and I am proud to call him my husband.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Eggs on Easter Morning

For those with children, eggs are an important part of the Easter holiday. Kids dip boring white eggs into a variety of colors to create beautiful, speckled eggs. Early on Easter morning, parents hop out of bed to hide them throughout the house just as kids are waking up and ready to hunt for their eggs. I don't know about you, but we do a sweep after the kids to make sure they actually found all the eggs; rotten eggs is a horrible smell! I find that even non-religious families still participate in the egg coloring and hunting tradition of the holiday.

After we find all of the eggs, I spend what seems like hours peeling hard boiled eggs! What is with hard boiled eggs? Why don't they peel properly? Luckily my hard work pays off because hard boiled eggs are like a hot commodity in our house; they don't last long. 

I used to dislike eggs because they can be so bland and boring. I discovered that I love eggs with a lot of other food thrown into the pan. A quiche is the perfect answer to my egg conundrum. I previously published a post about a quiche and I have another easy, cheap and fool proof recipe below. This is a great breakfast for Easter morning.
This doesn't last long in my house!

Sometimes I call quiche an egg pie because it's the only explanation that I can come up with when the kids ask me what I'm making. I explain, "It's like a pie for breakfast that is made with eggs, cheese, vegetables and sometimes bacon." They respond by running out of the kitchen screaming, "GROSS!" I can't blame them; I probably would have done the same thing as a kid. 

Quiche is the perfect dish for a weekend morning, when you have visitors staying at your home or if you're hosting a mid-morning brunch or book club (pair fresh fruit and mimosas with quiche or a well rounded meal). Prepare and bake this quiche ahead of time and serve it the next morning or pack it in your lunchbox for work the entire week. 

I love the recipe below because it is so versatile. Want to add mushrooms and green peppers? Just saute them in a little olive oil for about 3-5 minutes and add them into the egg mixture before pouring it into the pie shell. I purchase my pie shells; unfortunately I do not have the patience to make homemade pie dough. 

Cindy Barber's Quiche (Thanks, Cindy!)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of half and half
- 1/2 cup mayo (I never said it was healthy!)
- 2 TBS flour
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onions
- Sprinkle of salt and garlic powder 
- 8 oz shredded Swiss (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
- 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (drained well!)
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (optional; not in oil)
- 1 pie shell unbaked (I find that a deep pie shell works best)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Thaw the spinach and squeeze out all of the water (it is best to do this with your hands). If the spinach is holding a lot of water, the quiche will not cook properly. 

In a bowl, hand whip the eggs, half and half, mayo and flour. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl (minus the pie shell). If you want to add other vegetables or cooked meat (i.e. ham or bacon) add those items into the bowl. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. After about 35 minutes, check the quiche and cover with foil if the top of the quiche is turning brown. 

Happy Easter to you and your family!