Saturday, November 21, 2009 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Recipe: Peppermint Cup Cakes











Peppermint Cup Cakes might be delicious make with chocolate but since I am allergic to chocolate, this was better for me. I thought this brought out the peppermint flavoring very well too. Now, I would love to share with you the homemade version but it wouldn't be fair since the only way I like to make cakes of any kind is from a box. I can make them from scratch, however, I am so thankful for the boxed mixes...they are excellent.

Peppermint Cup Cakes
 ~ from the kitchen of Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Prepare a white cake mix of your choice. The only difference I do in preparing the mix is that I replace the required oil for real butter. Then I add 1 t of real peppermint flavoring and 1/2 t real vanilla to the mix. Also, I save the egg yolks in the freezer for use at another time. So, prepare the cake mix & place the batter into cup cake sleeves & bake according to directions on the box.

Take fluffy canned frosting, add 1/8 t of real peppermint flavoring to the icing and mix well. Spread evenly onto the cup cakes. Take crushed soft peppermint (from Cracker Barrel store) and sprinkle over the cup cakes. Delic-eee-0000-soooo!!!!

Ethan baked the cup cakes for me and I frosted them as he was trimming the Christmas tree.

I do have a funny story about my first every white cake. I hadn't been married but a couple of years when I attempted my first white cake. I was careful to measure and add the right ingredients. Once my mixer began to beat the batter, the whole thing began jumping on the counter. I was afraid something had happened to my mixer. When I pour the batter from the mixing bowl, out fell a large lump. After spooning it out, I found a piece of metal that was the size of an American quarter but about 1/2" thick. I knew right away there was no way this could have come from my mixer.

I cooked the cake...yes, I figured any germs would have been backed away. NOW, I would NEVER do that. ;-) The cake was very good as I remember. However, I thought the company needed to know about this.

I wrote a letter, since there was no such things as e-mail at that time. I described in cute detail how I had made my first white cake only to discover a hidden treasure. I told them what the piece looked like and said I would be happy to mail it to them if they would like.

Time passed and I got a reply from the company with a letter saying, "We were pleased to receive your letter because of the humor and delight you shared with us. We have never, ever received such a letter as yours." They gave their apology and an explanation that it came from one of their powder beaters in their plant. They went on to say, "We hope that the enclosed gift will make up for this problem." Enclosed was a check for 5x what the box of cake mix cost me and at least 10 coupons for free boxes of cake mix.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. It proved to me those many years ago that if you handle situations with humor and kindness, you will be rewarded. God has been good to me throughout the 25 yrs following that situation because I am an others focused person and I always bring a since of laughter to the table.

Love and blessings,
RHC

Recipe: Crab Cakes











I love seafood of every kind. My sons, Garrett and Joel, and I loved these crab cakes. I served warm tarter sauce with these. They were not greasy at all and browned nicely in the skillet. This recipe made 12 cakes.

Crab Cakes  
~ From the kitchen of Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

2 C fresh crab meat, finely chopped
1 C Italian bread crumbs
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/4 C minced onion (I use the dried minced onion)
1/4 C Kraft Real Mayo with Olive Oil
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t minced garlic
4 drops Hot Choleua Sauce
1 T butter

1. In a large bowl, combine crabmeat, bread crumbs, egg, onion, mayo, lemon juice, garlic, & hot sauce, mix well.
2. Make 12 balls of this mixture, roll in some Italian bread crumbs, & flatten to make a cake.
3. In a large skillet (I use a Pampered Chef non-stick skillet) melt the butter.
4. Cook the crab cakes until slightly brown on one side, flip them over & brown the other side.
5. Remove from the skillet onto papertowels to drain.
6. Serve hot and with warmed tarter sauce (I put the tarter sauce on the stove to warm while I made the crab cakes.

Love, blessings, and enjoy,
RHC

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup











I have used a couple of different recipes in the past for Butternut Squash Soup, but this has to be my favorite and preparing the squash has taken several attemps, but I have found the best way to cook it. My loves this wonderful soup served with crumbled turkey bacon that is grilled crisp for this dish.

Butternut Squash Soup 
 ~ From the kitchen of Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

3 T of real butter
1 med onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, shredded
3 med potatoes, finely shopped
3 butternut sqash, peeled, seeded, & prepared*
1 - 32 oz box of chicken broth (99% fat-free)
2 t sea salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
Garnish with grilled crumbled turkey bacon & fat-free sour cream (optional)

*1. To prepare the butternut sqash, wash the squash first, then cut each on in half. Scoup out the seeds (if the seed area isn't soft enough to spoon out, simply do so after baking, being careful not to get any of the squash meat.) Brush on olive oil all on the top of each butternut squash, place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Begin preparing the other ingredients.
2. In a 12 quart boiler, melt the butter.
3. Add onion, celery, carrots & potatoes to the melted butter.
4. Add chicken broth just enough to cover the vegetables & simmer.
5. Scrap the meat from each sqash & add to the vegetables.
6. Add the remaining chicken broth & stir all the ingredients well & bring to a boil.
7. Remove from heat & allow to cook slightly.
8. Spoon mixture into a blendar and process until creamy. (I have to do about a 1/3 of the soup at a time, but once it is creamy, I put it into a very large metal bowl until I have all of it done, then add it back to the 12 quart boiler).
9. Place the soup on med-high heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
10. Serve hot, garnish with bacon & sour cream.

Love, blessings, and enjoy,
RHC

Recipe: Ham & Biscuits











I could be really crazy and give you a recipe for homemade biscuits with ham, but I must admit, those photographed here are not homemade. Since I was making several other dishes from scratch, I decided that it would be ok to fundge on the Ham & Biscuits. With frozen biscuits, I simply baked them and opened them while hot and added ham slices I bought in the meat section of our grocer. My husband, Jerry, grilled the ham for me. =) They were delicious and large too. Feed some growing boys in my house well for the Tree Trimming Party & even for breakfast in the morning. Ummmmyyyy.

Love, Blessings and {{{Hugs}}},
Rita

Recipe: Sauerbraten Meatballs & Gravy



Sauerbraten Meatballs and Gravy

~ From the kitchen of Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs...these are so delicious!!!

1/2 C fat-free milk
1/2 C dried bread crumbs
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
2 lbs of very lean beef ( I use Schwans ground beef)
3 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 C red wine vinegar with garlic
2 C beef broth
1/2 t ground ginger
2 bay leafs
2 T brown sugar
6 gingersnap cookies, crushed

1. In a med bowl, soak bread crumbs, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, salt, & pepper in milk.
2. Add beef & shape into meatballs, any size you like. =)
3. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in hot oil over medium heat.
4. While the meatballs are browning, put vinegar, beef broth, giner, bay leaves, gingersnap cookies & brown sugar in a bowl, mix well & set to the side.
5. Once browned, remove meatballs from skillet & drain on a layer of paper towels.
6. Add #4 to the skillet & bring to a rolling boil. When it can't be stirred down or becomes a thick gravy, return the temp to med-high and add the meatballs back to the gravy mixture.
7. Serve meatballs & gravy hot.
This is also very good over bowtie pasta...however, this dish is excellent alone. =)

Love and blessings,
RHC

Artichoke Wraps Recipe


Artichoke Wraps

~ From the kitchen of Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

1 T butter

1/2 C red potatoes, diced

3 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened

2 T minced onion

1/3 C grated Parmesan Cheese (not the crushed kind)

2 T Kraft Real Mayo with Olive Oil

1 T finely chopped fresh Parsley

1 T lemon zest

8 drops hot Choluea Sauce

1/2 T of sea salt

1 - 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained

24 wonton wrappers

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a small skillet, melt butter over med-high heat and cook potatoes, stirring constantly until potatoes are golden crisp.

3. In med bowl, combine cream cheese, onion, Parmesan cheese, mayo, parsley, lemon zest, hot sauce, and salt.

4. Fold in artichoke hearts & potatoes.

5. Spoon the mixture into phyllo cups.

6. Place in the mini-muffin pan, bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the wraps have browned.

7. Serve warm and with fat-free sour cream.


Love and Blessing and totally enjoy, RHC
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