Gooey Butter Cake

I’ve seen this recipe come up a few times in my Google reader since the holidays, and it intrigued me enough to make one.  You might think that I would have heard of this cake before since I live somewhat close to St. Louis and that is where the recipe originated.  But nope.  I’d never heard of it before.  Have any of you heard of it before?

It only takes a few simple ingredients and in almost no time you have a gooey cake.  I was very surprised that the cream cheese layer turned out the way that it did.  For some reason I was expecting more of a cheesecake like quality, but it is nothing of the sort.  The 2 layers blend together into one super chewy bar-like dessert.  Delicious and very sweet!

Gooey Butter Cake

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen and Tidy Mom

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1 package (18.25 Oz. Box) Plain Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 whole Egg
  • _____
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, At Room Temperature
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, plus more for dusting on top

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°.  Prepare crust first.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a wooden spoon until moist.  Transfer to a 13″x9″ lightly greased baking pan and press it down evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Set aside.

Next, prepare the filling.  In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and melted butter, and continue to mix.  Next, add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time until all sugar is mixed in.  Pour filling over the crust, and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake gooey butter cake for 40-45 minutes until it is browned, but the center still jiggles when the pan is shaken.  Cool for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with additional confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Menu 1-31-11

What’s for dinner this week:

Monday – Spaghetti with Meat sauce and salad

Tuesday – Tater Tot Casserole

Wednesday – Tamale Casserole

Thursday- Shrimp and Penne a la Vodka

Friday- Homemade Pizza

Saturday – Chinese Chicken Take-out Fake-out served with rice

Cream Cheese Lasagna

First of all, I’m really happy I made this lasagna even though there was one major thing I didn’t like about it.  I actually learned a lot by making this recipe.  In the past whenever I made lasagna, I always used an entire box of noodles, creating several layers and when sliced, the pieces never held their shape and they would go sliding all over the plate.  That fact was part of the reason I started making lasagna rolls most recently – they stay neatly rolled and are easy to serve.  But, this recipe calls for just 6 noodles {I used 8} which means less layers and it held together extremely well when sliced.

Another thing I learned, and probably the most obvious, is that cream cheese makes a wonderful lasagna filling!  I never would have thought of that.  Of course ricotta and/or cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan are obvious ingredients.  The cream cheese creates a thicker filling, which also helped to hold the layers together I would guess.

Now, the thing I didn’t care for at all – the lemon zest.  I should have went with my gut and omitted it from the start, but I decided to stay true to the recipe.  We could taste the lemon in the very first bites we took.  We did not like it, but were able to get past it and eat it because there was no way I was going to throw the whole thing out!

Lastly, I concluded that the pepperoni is completely optional.  Sure it added nice flavor, but I could have done without it.  Again my gut told me to leave it out, but I used it anyway.  I don’t regret it like I regret the lemon, but I will probably skip it next time.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

Source:  Runs with Spatulas

6 or 8 Lasagna noodles
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fat-free low-sodium beef broth – I omitted
1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons lemon zest – OMIT
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (4 oz) package pepperoni or salami slices – I used turkey pepperoni
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and 1 teaspoons olive oil and cook according to package directions until al dente.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, and cook until they start to become fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef, breaking up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper flakes and cook until brown (about 8-10 minutes) stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in tomato sauce, paste, and broth until the mixture is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Stir in the eggs until well mixed, then add in the salt, nutmeg, parsley, basil, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning.

Spray a 12x8x2 glass {I used a 13×9 which is why I used 8 noodles} or ceramic baking dish with nonstick spray.  Spread part of meat mixture on the bottom of the pan so it is lightly covered. Layer with 3 {4} lasagna noodles. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly across the noodles. Top with 1/2 the pepperoni, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, pepperoni, mozzarella and finally the shredded Parmesan.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes, dabbing off excess grease from the pepperoni if necessary prior to serving {This wasn’t necessary for me because I used turkey pepperoni}.

Serves: 12

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Broccoli is our favorite vegetable so I always have some on hand.  Well to be truthful, its Tim’s favorite, my favorite is peas but broccoli is my second favorite soooooo anyway…where was I?

I saw this recipe in an issue of Real Simple and knew I had to make it!  It sounded so simple and I knew we would love the flavor. I think it is restaurant quality!  Give it a try!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

source: Real Simple Feb 2011

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

2 cups broth {chicken or vegetable}

2 cups water

1 large bunch of broccoli florets, chopped {about 7 cups}

1 large russet potato {about 8 oz}, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

salt and pepper

1/2 cup cheddar cheese {they recommend white cheddar, but I didn’t have any}

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat.  Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft.  4-6 minutes.

Add the broccoli, potato, broth, and water.  Heat to a boil and then reduce to simmer, add the salt and pepper, cover and cook until the veggies are very tender.  20 minutes.

Use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Top with additional cheese, sour cream, sliced green onion, croutons, or crackers for serving.

Menu

I’m a little late posting this, but oh well!

This week’s menu:

Sunday – we had crock pot Beef Stew

Monday – we had a Pierogi & Kielbasa Skillet with steamed broccoli on the side

Tuesday – Cheese Tortellini with tomato sauce, probably served with broccoli again

Wednesday – French Onion Soup

Thursday – Chicken Squares

Friday – Homemade Pizza

Saturday – Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

 

Porcupine Meatballs

I had meatballs on the menu for the other night, but was tired of the BBQ meatballs that I usually make, so I went with these porcupine meatballs.  They are made with uncooked rice that puffs during the baking time, making them look like the spikes of a porcupines.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1/3 cup milk {maybe less}

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 jar {approx 26 oz} spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water

Combine the ground beef, rice, Parmesan, and seasonings together in a large bowl.  Slowly add the milk, adding just enough to bring the mixture together.  Form into golf ball sized meatballs and place in a casserole dish that has a lid.  Pour on the spaghetti sauce and water.  Cover with the lid and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes about 18 meatballs.

Noodles with Peanut Sauce

I was nursing a sore throat several days ago and I thought a nice warm bowl of noodles sounded like the perfect medicine for lunch one day.  This recipe did not disappoint.  I’ve read similar recipes to this one and they are served cold, so I’m sure this recipe would be great either way.  The veggies that you choose to use are totally interchangeable.  I used a bag of frozen “spring mix” stir fry veggies, but just bell peppers would be fine.

Noodles with Peanut Sauce

adapted from Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook, page 375

Ingredients:

8 ounces of egg, rice, or spaghetti noodles

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2-3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tsp dried ginger

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 Tbsp oil for stir frying

stir fry veggies of your choice – fresh or frozen

Optional Toppings:

peanuts

sliced green onions

chopped cilantro

Directions:

Cook noodles in boiling water as directed.

Stir the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper together with a whisk, gradually add the broth.  {This kinda takes forever because the peanut butter is so thick, but keep at it.}

Stir fry the veggies until crisp tender in a little oil in a large saute pan.  Add the cooked and drained pasta and the peanut butter sauce to the pan.  Toss to combine and coat.

Place in serving bowls and add topping if you choose.

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