Monday, September 27, 2010

Cranberry Spice Coffee Cake/Finnish Coffee Cake

I use the Finnish Coffee Cake recipe regularly, but variated it for the fall season with Wildtree's Cranberry Spice Blend.

Finnish Coffee Cake

1 &1/4 cup sugar - I used Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals
1 cup oil - I used 2/3 cup Wildtree's Natural Grapeseed Oil
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1-3 tsp. cinnamon

In place of brown sugar and cinnamon - I used 4 Tbsp. Wildtree's Cranberry Spice Blend

Optional glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. vanilla
Hot water to mix to desired consitency.

For Cake: Mix together first five ingredients. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, soda and add to first mixture. Pour 1/2 of the batter into a greased 9X13 pan. If using brown sugar and cinnamon, mix together and sprinkle half of this over batter. If using Cranberry Spice Blend, sprinkle 2 Tbps. over layer. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Poke holes in cake while still warm and drizzle glaze over top.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

This is one of my new favorites for potluck lunches. It is so easy and I know that most likely it will be unique. People are always asking for the recipe.

Mexican Lasagna
2 pounds ground beef
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
5 Tablespoons Wildtree taco seasoning or 1 package taco seasoning of your choice
2 Tablespoons salsa
(I also add a Tablespoon of Wildtree's Jalapeno Pepper Blend)
12 ounces uncooked lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat)
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese - divided
1 jar (16 ounces mild salsa) I use 1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes and Wildtree's Fiesta Salsa Mix
2 cups water
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 can (2 and 1/4 ounces) sliced black olives, drained
3 green onions, chopped

In large skillet, brown beef and drain. Stir in the taco seasoning, refried beans, chilies, and 2 Tablespoons salsa. (And Jalapeno Pepper Blend or hot peppers if you are using.)

In a greased 9X13 baaking dish, layer a third of the uncooked noodles and meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Combine jar of salsa with water and pour over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for one hour. Remove from oven and top with sour cream, remaining cheese, olives and onions and return to oven uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Quick Cocoa Sheet Cake

This is one of my favorite stand-by recipes when I need a quick easy delicious dessert. It calls for regular unsweetened cocoa, but I use Hershey's special dark cocoa powder in the cake and in the peanut butter frosting recipe. It's all the rave anytime I serve it.

Fills a sheet cake or jelly roll-sized cake pan. Also makes great cupcakes.

Quick Cocoa Cake
3 cups flour
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's special dark powder)
2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups water
1 cup cooking oil (I use Wildtree's butter flavored grapeseed oil and reduce to 2/3 cup)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all ingredients together with mixer and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Can top with any of your favorite frostings, including German Chocolate. My favorite is the chocolate peanut butter recipe below.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (Make 1/2 a recipe or put the extra in the fridge for later use.)
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use the Hershey's special dark for this too)
cream these ingredients together then add
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 to 1 cup cream or milk.

Use only enough cream to make it desired spreading consistency.  Spread over cake. Can top with chopped Butterfinger bars or Reese Cups.