Monday, September 9, 2013

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

I made this a couple of weeks ago for an OSC event. I was really glad I took it somewhere to share it because my waistline would be in grave danger if this thing was sitting around the house. It was really moist/dense/scrumptious. 

For the cake:
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz red food coloring
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder

For the icing:
1 package Neufchatel cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Mix the eggs until smooth, and then add the remaining wet ingredients. Add flour 1 cup at a time followed by remaining dry ingredients. Bake it in a greased bundt pan for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool it in the pan on a wire rack until completely cool. Run a knife around the edge before turning out on the serving plate. 

To make icing, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour it over the cooled cake. I had a lot leftover, so you could ice the whole cake instead of drizzling.

Easy Hummus

At several parties and events I've been to recently, there's been hummus that I just couldn't get enough of! I asked my friend for her recipe, and she sent me the link to a Food Network recipe. No wonder it was so good! I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand, but I had most of them, so I gave it a shot. Luke was gone at the time, and I finished it on my own pretty quickly :) the recipe below is what I used, and the Food Network link is copied below that! I blended it all in my Cuisinart chopper, and it barely fit. I had to grab a few carrots to scrap some off of the side of my chopper ;-)

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoon salted 
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup water
Paprika, as desired

Read more at:

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

The first week that Luke was gone flew by thanks to planned dinners/visits every night of the week. While they were all a blast, I particularly loved getting to see some friends from the mainland who took time out of their family vacation to come see me (and give me a much-needed hair cut!). I've been looking for a reason to try this recipe, and I thought a visit from some fellow Southerners was the perfect excuse! It was seriously amazing - it tasted just like Fall, which continues to escape me here in beautiful Hawaii. Poor me, right? I don't remember where exactly I found this recipe, but I had it written on a note card stuck inside one of my cookbooks, which probably means I copied it down from someone else's cookbook!

For the cake:

4 eggs
3 medium sweet potatoes, cooked & mashed
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp half & half
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the eggs, butter, vanilla, and sweet potatoes until creamy. Mix in the flour 1 cup at a time, followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Pour batter into a sprayed bundt pan, and bake it for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees. When it's done, cool it in the pan on a wire baking rack until completely cool. Run a knife around the edges and turn the cake out onto whatever you're going to serve it on.

To make the glaze, mix the ingredients until the powdered sugar is incorporated and the glaze is smooth. Drizzle it over the cooled cake.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili

When Luke is galavanting around the world with the Marine Corps, I am free to try meatless dinners! I have no moral opposition to meat; in fact I am a full-fledge, flag-waving carnivore. I love all the meats, really. But sometimes I just like to try things, and if Luke is home, there are no meatless recipes tried within our 4 walls. I found a recipe similar to this, but it was a stovetop recipe. I made a couple changes so I could put it in the slow-cooker. It turned out great, and I will definitely make it again.

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
1 15 oz-can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and papper to taste
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes

I just threw it all in the crock pot and cooked on the "warm" setting for 8 hours and then flipped it to high when I got home from work and let it go for about 2 more hours.