Thursday, June 30, 2011

Zachary's Lasagne

Jar of pasta sauce (Zachary votes for chunk free)
Box of lasagne noodles (I LOVE the oven ready ones)
Cheese sauce (recipe below)
Ball of Mozzarella (grated)

Cheese sauce:

Melt 1 cube butter in a saucepan. Mix 1/4 cup of flour. Add 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and some salt (to taste.) Gradually stir in 2 cups of milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened. Beat 2 egg yolks. Stir a little of cheese sauce into yolks, then dump yolks and sauce back into the pot. Cook on low for 10 minutes. (It will still look pretty thin, but will set in the oven.)

Layer pasta sauce, lasagne noodles, cheese sauce and grated cheese. Repeat.
Sprinkle parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown on top. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reece's Cake

I made this cake for Father's Day. Mmmmm.

Bake chocolate cake of your choice, in two 9" rounds.

Peanut Butter Frosting: This made a lot, so be generous when spreading. :)
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup soft butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup whipping cream

Beat butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar and blend. Slowly add enough cream to reach spreadable consistency.

Place first layer of cake on the plate. Spread a layer of frosting in the middle. Top with other cake. Frost the tops and the sides. Decorate with miniature Reece's cups, cut in half, along the bottom and the top. Sprinkle center of the cake with chopped Reece's.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Freezing cooked rice

I got this idea from the Real Simple magazine (April 2011). And while I haven't actually tried it, it seems like it would work.

Don't have the 55 minutes you need to prepare brown rice? Or even 20 minutes for white? No problem. Simply cook it in advance and freeze it for later. (This works well with leftover rice, too.) Here's what to do.

Pack it up. Make a batch of rice and let it cool. (For recipes, go to Spoon meal-size portions into freezer-safe, microwave-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheat it. When you're ready to eat the rice, remove the container's lid, sprinkle the frozen grains with 1 to 2 tablespoons water, cover the container with a dampened paper towel, and microwave on high for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on the portion size); fluff gently, then repeat. Let stand for 2 minutes before fluffing and serving.

Sturdy Whipped Cream Frosting

Yummy, light, easy. Used only about 1/2 of the batch for the cake, and I put it on thick. Should have taken the photo before putting on the lid for travel, though. Also would be good as a dip for fruit.

1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream.

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a still peak. (I used a hand mixer and it worked just fine.)