Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Edible Bouquet

We hosted extended family during Hurricane Irene, because our household wasn’t evacuated. During the stormy day, we could be found in my “power-less” kitchen putting together this no-bake project Grandma brought. Grown-ups cut fruit to resemble flowers, and little cousins had a blast sticking the fruit pieces on bamboo skewers! Within a short time, the kids were having a blast pulling fruit off the skewers to eat. Fruit never looked so appetizing!

Supplies:
Fruit (& veggies, if desired) including whole pineapple
Bamboo skewers
Some of our supplies
Cookie cutters, knives
Vase

Directions:
1. Cut top off pineapple and place flat side down in bottom of vase.
2. Cut fruit and vegetables into creative shapes using knives and/or cookie cutters, and impale on bamboo skewers.
3. Stick skewers in pineapple base!

This would be a great centerpiece for a party or shower!

We used a measuring cup instead of a vase so you can see the pineapple top.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Crazy Cake

This cake is “crazy” because it is a GREAT dairy-free cake recipe that uses vinegar and baking soda in place of eggs! I like that it’s vegan. My husband Ben likes it because it’s tasty and moist (especially the day AFTER it’s been frosted). Ben grew up on this cake—I got the recipe from his mother.

Dry Ingredients:
3 c. Flour
2 c. Sugar
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
6 Tbsp. Unsweetened baking cocoa
Wet Ingredients:
¾ c. Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. White vinegar
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 c. Cold water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. In ungreased 9x13” pan, mix all dry ingredients.
3. Scoop out three holes—small, medium and large.
          1. “Papa” hole
          2. “Mama” hole
          3. “Baby” hole

1. Big hole   2. Medium hole   3. Small hole


4. Put vanilla in the baby hole, vinegar in the Mama hole, and oil in the Papa hole. Try not to let the liquids mix yet.
5. Pour COLD water over the whole pan and mix together.
Cooling: Can’t wait to frost it!
6. Bake about 40 minutes, until the center is fully baked and the top is starting to show tiny cracks.
7. Cool in pan on wire rack.
8. When cool, frost with chocolate frosting.

*Nutrition facts (Cake, no frosting):

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
3 c. flour
1320
0
6
36
0
2 c. sugar
1440
0
0
0
0
2 tsp. baking soda
0
96
0
0
0
1 tsp. salt
0
100
0
0
0
6 Tbsp. cocoa
60
0
12
3
0
¾ c. oil
1440
0
0
0
0
Vinegar, vanilla & water
0
0
0
0
0
Total:
4260 kcal
196%
18g
39g
0%


**Nutrition facts (Cake with frosting):

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
Entire Cake +
1 recipe Frosting
6260 kcal
216%
26g
41g
0%
1 piece cake +frosting =
(32 pieces total)
196 kcal
6.75%
0.75g
1.25g
0%


*Calculated from food packaging.
I used “Bakers & Chefs” brand (Sams Club) all-purpose bleached flour, “Arm & Hammer” brand baking soda, “Domino” brand sugar, “Morton” brand salt, “Hershey” brand unsweetened baking cocoa, “Wesson” brand vegetable oil, “Great Value” (Walmart) brand white vinegar, and “Tone’s” brand vanilla extract.

**See Chocolate frosting recipe

Chocolate Frosting

Nothing is tastier than homemade frosting!
This recipe is delicious on Crazy Cake or any other cake.


Ready to spread!   
 Ingredients:
1 lb. (3 ½ c.) Powdered sugar 
¼ c. Margarine
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 Tbsp. Unsweetened baking cocoa
¼ c. Warm water

Directions:
1. Put margarine in a large mixing bowl and stir with handheld electric mixer.
2. Add 2 c. powdered sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and water. Mix.
3. Add rest of powdered sugar and mix thoroughly, until lumps are gone.

*Nutrition facts:
Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
¼ c. margarine
280
20
0
0
0
3 ½ c. powdered sugar
1680
0
0
0
0
4 Tbsp. cocoa
40
0
8
2
0
Vanilla, water
0
0
0
0
0
Total (1 ½ c.)
2000 kcal
20%
8g
2g
0%

*Calculated from food packaging.
I used “Domino” brand Confectioner’s sugar, “Blue Bonnet” brand margarine, “Domino” brand sugar,  “Hershey” brand unsweetened baking cocoa, and “Tone’s” brand vanilla extract.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Dried Cranberries

My kids go for this salad because of the fruit! It was inspired by Lose that Last 10 Pounds, by Denise Austin . She recommends serving it with spaghetti. The combo works because sweet and tangy fruit complement salty tomato sauce.

Cranberries are the new croutons!
Ingredients:
Mixed greens
Mandarin oranges
Dried cranberries
Salad dressing
(I like vinaigrette)




*Nutrition Facts: 1 serving Salad:
Item
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
2 cups mixed greens
15
3
1
1
6
4 oz. Mandarin oranges
55
0
1
0
0
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
49
0
0.75
0
0
2 Tbsp. Good Seasons Italian dressing
130
14
0
0
0
Total:
249 kcal
17%
2.75g
1g
6%

My favorite Italian dressing is high-calorie, similar to Ranch dressing. If you use lite Italian dressing, you can cut about 80 calories off the total!

*Calculated from food packaging and the following websitehttp://caloriecount.about.com.
I used “Great Value” brand (Walmart) Mandarin oranges and dried cranberries,  and “Good Seasons” Italian dressing mix.