Sunday, April 28, 2013

Miz B's Chocolate Sheet Cake

This awesome variety of Texas sheet cake brings up tons of memories for me from growing up.  My mom always made this on family vacations, and the entire 9x13 pan never lasted more than two or three days at the most.  It's always best a la mode, too - I recommend Blue Bell homemade vanilla as an accompaniment.
Is this delicious, comforting, and a crowd-pleaser?  Absolutely.  Good for you?  Absolutely not!
Recipe Notes
You can make the icing while the cake cooks and spread it over the top after the cake has cooled slightly.  This can essentially be made in one pan if you wipe out the pan you used to make the cake batter and use it again for the icing while the cake cooks.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 tbsp. and 1 tsp. cocoa, divided
  • 2 sticks butter or margarine, divided
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla, divided
  • 1 box powdered sugar (16 oz.)
1.  Combine 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 4 tbsp. cocoa, 1 stick margarine, and 1 c. water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2.  Whisk until combined and then bring to a boil.  Set aside to cool.
3.  To chocolate mixture, add 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 beaten eggs, 1 tsp. cocoa, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Mix well.
4.  Pour cake batter into a 9x12 greased glass baking dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
5.  While cake cooks, bring 1 stick of margarine, 4 tbsp. cocoa, and 6 tbsp. milk to a boil over medium heat.  I added a small amount of extra milk to make sure that it didn't get too thick and burn.
6.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Whisk until completely combined and smooth.
7.  Spread icing over warm cake and serve with ice cream.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Chorizo Confetti

This recent Cooking Light recipe was a hit.  It takes quite a bit of time to assemble (especially if you're making other components to the dinner such as sides), and Corey and I preferred to grill the chicken outside instead of pan grilling it as the recipe suggests.


Recipe Notes
Instead of pan grilling the chicken, Corey grilled it outside for me after marinating the chicken breasts in Ken's Light Northern Italian dressing, Worchestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)
254 calories - 8.2 g. fat - 1.2 g. fiber - 3.6 g. carbs - 39.2 g. protein

  • Four (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. Mexican pork chorizo, casings removed (about 1/2-2/3 of one link)
  • 1/4 c. minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. diced carrots
  • 1/4 c. diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 c. diced yellow bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp. diced green bell peppers
  • 1/4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (or more, depending on your taste)

1.  Grill chicken either in a grill pan or outdoor grill until desired doneness.
2.  Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add chorizo and cook, stirring to crumble.
3.  Add salt and pepper, onion, and carrot.  Cook 2 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
4.  Add bell peppers, cook 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender.
5.  Add chicken stock and simmer until chicken stock almost evaporates.  Stir to loosen browned bits.
6.  Spoon chorizo over grilled chicken and sprinkle with cilantro.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Salad with Walnuts, Grapefruit, and Feta

This quick salad was in a recent Cooking Light edition and proved to be tasty, colorful, and versatile.  I served it with grilled chicken, tomatillo sauce, and rice, but it can go with many dinner combinations.


Recipe Notes
I actually made this without the walnuts because I ran out, so the calorie count for the version you see above is slightly lower than the stated recipe nutritional information.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)
145 calories - 12.5 g. fat

  • 1 small ruby red grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 c. torn butter lettuce
  • 4 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 tbsp. toasted walnuts
1.  Peel and section grapefruit over a bowl.  Squeeze membranes to extract juice.  Set sections aside and reserve 3 tbsp. grapefruit juice.  Discard membranes.
2.  Combine juice, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk.
3.  Divide lettuce evenly among four plates.
4.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp. feta cheese and 1 tbsp. walnuts over each salad.
5.  Divide grapefruit sections evenly among salads and drizzle with vinaigrette.