Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Strawberry Shortcakes

I took advantage of the strawberry stand that is not far from my home again today.  The one that has California grown giant strawberries.  I grabbed my handy dandy bisquick mix and followed the recipe on the box for strawberry shortcakes.  My children were all suspicious by now.  What was Mommy up to?  What was she making?  Soon they also were up to their elbows in rinsing berries and cutting them.  We had them for dinner!!! I think they are ready to crown me Mother of the Year! 🙂  Just in time for Mother’s Day too! LOL

Strawberry Shortcakes

Serves 4

  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/3 cup Original Bisquick Mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • cool whip topping (optional) I used Reddi Whip
  1. Mix sliced strawberries with sugar and set aside.
  2. Stir Bisquick Mix, milk, 3 Tbsp sugar, and butter until a soft dough forms. Drop by 6-8 spoonfuls onto a un-greased baking sheet. (I used parchment paper for even less clean up!)
  3. Bake 10-12 minutes at 425F or until golden brown.
  4. Split warm shortcakes top with strawberries and place top of shortcakes on top with Whipped Cream.

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Homemade Brownies

I have been laying in my bed recovering from a back injury that I gave myself falling down the stairs in my home.  As a stay at home mom, I would call that a work related injury but it does not work that way!  No workman’s comp for me!

Well, here I was looking at my iPhone to find signs of life beyond the walls of the bedroom I was recovering in.  I found signs of life on facebook and twitter.  I have been following other cooks and foodies on twitter and frankly by now I was downright hungry.  The craving:  brownies!  Did I have a simple mix that I could just have my kids whip up? NO, of course not!  But that’s okay. Child labor (when brownies are involved) make willing hands to help.

I dug out a recipe book that was published by Family Fun Magazine. The Family Fun Cookbook and made their Chocolate-Lover’s Brownies (pg 194).

Here is my adaptation:

Chocolate Lover’s Brownies

Serves 20 small squares

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups nuts (I used one cup pecans and one cup M&Ms)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a 9x13x2 inch baking pan with pam or a cooking spray
  3. In the microwave, melt the butter and chocolate for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is completely melted.  I microwave f or one minute, stir and then heat in 30 second increments until it is melted, stirring after each time to combine.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes after it is combined and melted.
  4. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium high speed combine the eggs and sugar and beat for 3 minutes until the egg mixture is pretty light in color.  After the chocolate mixture has cooled add it to your egg and sugar mixture and combine.
  5. Add flour and salt to the mixture and slowly combine.
  6. Last minute: throw in your nuts and M&Ms if desired and just stir to combine.
  7. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 28-30 minutes.

Allow to cool completely (if they make it that long).  Can be stored in freezer if desired.

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Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites

These wonderful little Parmesan and cracker crumb coated bites of chicken never last long around my house!  My husband says they are much better than anything McDonald’s serves up (yeah, of course they are made from scratch and not “pre-chewed” patties of chicken).  I was cleaning out my pantry and fridge today to make lunch.  I served them with couscous.

I got this recipe from one of my aunts.  Thank you Aunt Nancy!  I get my kids involved in the process.  Crushing the cracker crumbs in a bag and adding seasonings and cheese…

Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites

Serves 6-8

  • 6 large chicken breast halves, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz Crackers, crushed with a rolling pin
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 F
  2. Cover two baking sheets with foil. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Mix cracker crumbs with cheese, seasoned salt, thyme, basil and pepper. (You can just add them to the bag you used to crush the cracker crumbs)
  4. Dip chicken pieces into melted butter and add a few pieces at a time to the bag of crackers.  Close the zip lock and have a child shake the bag to coat the chicken.
  5. Place the chicken pieces about 1/2 inch apart from each other on the baking sheets.  Repeat process until all chicken pieces are coated and on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake uncovered until golden brown 20-25 minutes.  Yields about 9 dozen pieces.

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April Fools Cupcakes

There is one thing my kids love to eat:  Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I could probably serve it several times a week and they would not tire of it.  I would though, and besides, what would I put on my blog?  I found this picture from last year and I will revisit this for April Fools Day this year. It is my kids’ favorite food as a dessert: Cupcakes topped with frosting (piped like spaghetti) and Ferrero Rocher balls (as meatballs) drizzled with warmed strawberry jam (as spaghetti sauce). Now this they love even more than Spaghetti and Meatballs.  My mom taught me not to play with my food, but sorry Mom, this is WAY too fun!!!

I got this idea from a wonderful book on baking cupcakes and making them for special occasions: Hello Cupcake.  I think you will want to pick a copy up from yourself as well.  Here is my adaptation: I didn’t tint the frosting and I used chocolate cupcakes because I had a chocolate cake mix in the house.  Also I like foil cupcake papers. I find them easier to peel.

April Fool’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Source: Hello Cupcake p 34-35 Copyright 2008

  • 10 vanilla cupcakes, baked in white paper liners
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting
  • 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, opitonal
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • 10 hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped
  • 3/4 cup low sugar strawberry preserves (low sugar has the best color)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated white chocolate, plus to garnish.

Directions:

  1. Tint the frosting with cocoa powder and food coloring and frost the cupcakes with a thin layer.  (I didn’t tint the frosting, but it would have looked better I think if I had). Put the cupcakes on a platter so they are touching.
  2. Spoon remaining frosting into a plastic baggie.  Press the bag to remove the air before sealing.  Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bag.  Form “spaghetti” by piping the frosting all over the cupcakes, making a pile of spaghetti.  Don’t worry if it looks messy — it is supposed to be isn’t it?
  3. Put a chocolate ball on top of each cupcake and drizzle with strawberry jam (I find it is more runny if you heat it up a little)
  4. Grate white chocolate over the tops for “Parmesan cheese”.  Enjoy!

NOTES: My kids loved having this version of Spaghetti and Meatballs!  Hello Cupcake really is a cute book with lots of great ideas for decorating.  You can readily find a copy at stores like Target or Wal-mart.

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Pasta Kabobs

While I was away on my retreat, I received an e-mail from my husband.  My 13 year old daughter had cooked dinner and made Pasta Kabobs.  See what I started letting the kids watch Iron Chef America and other shows on the Food Network? lol I thought it was cute though.  Here it is:


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Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, who can resist them?  With Valentines Day coming up. Here is a favorite that I make several times a year.  They also make beautiful presentations if you skewer them on bamboo skewers and present them like long stem roses.

The recipe is originally from allrecipes.com one of my favorite web-sites.
Don’t buy the overpriced chocolate dipped strawberries in the stores – they are so easy to make and delicious!  Makes about 3 packages of strawberries.  If you have chocolate left over use them to drizzle over cookies, or dip other fruit.  Very good.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Ingredients

  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves

DIRECTIONS
1. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries (washed and completely dried!).
2. In a double boiler (bowl over hot water in a pan), melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool. (or in this case, I used cupcake papers and just put a berry in each.  Enjoy.

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