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March 2012

Easy Peezy lemon squeezy Beef Strogonoff Recipe

You ever feel like there isn’t enough time to do all the things you need to be doing?  For me, it’s running the kids to and from school, homework, naps, laundry, extra curricular activities, house work, on the J, O, B work, running errands, chores, grocery shopping, planning and cooking meals that occupy my day.  And obviously,  I find myself not having enough time to finish all the things I should be getting done on top of it all.  Even when I do have downtime, my mind is racing about things I need to be doing.  Cooking and meal planning takes up a good chunk of my days.  And I try not to succumb to eating out.  Cause for one, it’s not the healthiest option and two, it expensive. So of course, I’m all about the easy meals. The strogonoff  I made this week is as basic as basic can get.  I probably shouldn’t be blogging about it. It’s that easy.  But what kind of food blogger would I be if i didn’t include the easiest recipes in my repertoire?  As my daughter would say, “easy peezy lemon squeezy!”  Hope you like it the way my family likes it!!  Pause….they don’t just like it, they LOVE it!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can beef broth

1 block Philadelphia cream cheese

1 small can of mushroom pieces and stems

salt and pepper to taste

1 packeage cooked egg noodles

Procedure:

1.) In a large sauce pan, mix beef broth, cream of mushroom soup and mushrooms with a whisk.

2.) Add beef stew meat to pan and heat to boiling.

3.) Turn down heat to a slow simmer and cover.

4.) Cook for roughly an hour or until meat starts to get tender. Add block of cream cheese during last 5 minutes and mix with wire whisk until it dissolves completely.

5.) Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot rice or cooked egg noodles.

As always thank you for visiting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, vote 5 stars 😉 or even follow me. I would love that.  I have a ton of recipes  on this site you maybe interested in.   I’ll get back with you as soon as I can with any questions and comments. Promise.  Happy eating and have a beautiful day!

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Make ahead ready Bake Lasagna Recipe

I dedicate this recipe to all the  super moms in the hiz-ouse.   Supermoms represent!  Woot Woot!  I don’t know how we do it!  Matter of fact, some days it’s a dang near struggle for me to get out of bed and do it all over again.  And I’m not even a full time mom.  I have a 5 and 3 year old and they have me running circles. Which got me thinking of the things I won’t miss about this age bracket.

1.) wiping poopy butts

2.)  getting up before the sun rises

3.)  temper tantrums and meltdowns in public

4.) high fevers, ear infections and unexpected emergency room visits for something they call nurses elbow. and the wonderful copays that come with it

5.) choking hazards

6.) 30 minute walks around a 3 block radius that should have only taken five

7.) the one minute mom shower

8.)  sweeping and vacuuming crumbs after every meal / snack

9.) the wooden stepping stool that makes my husband curse up a storm when he trips over it in the kitchen everyday and finally…..

10.) when they are at the stage five clinger state and won’t let go of you for nothing.  not for the babysitter, swimming lessons, sunday school or even grandma!

Of course there are a million more reasons that trump these that make it so peachy to multiply and keep on multiplying.  I love my rug rats and nothing can beat having them!

So with all the little stresses that I conquer throughout the day and as a working mom, I am constantly trying to make my job easier.  So I’ve  come up with some easy dinner solutions along the way to make mommy hood a tad easier.  I’m all about make ahead meals.  It gives me peace of mind that my husband  isn’t gonna make it a ramen noodle night the nights I work.  So, I like to have one or two meals pre-made for him.  This week, I pre-made Lasagna and since I worry about my childrens veggie and fruit intake,  I add as many veggies in my meals as possible! I layered this weeks lasagna up with a shite ton of veggies.  By all means,  feel free to add the vegetables you like to this lasagna if you happen to try it out.  It’s a versatile recipe.

As always thank you for visiting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, vote 5 stars 😉 or even follow me. I have a ton of recipes  on this site you maybe interested in.  I would love that!  I’ll get back with you as soon as I can with any questions and comments. Promise.  Happy eating and have a beautiful day!

Ingredients:

1 T. canola oil

cooking spray for baking pan

1 pound ground beef or turkey

1 large diced onion

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 eggs

2 cups fresh baby spinach

3/4 cup diced carrots

3/4 cup diced zuccini

1 diced green pepper

28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 jar garden style spaghetti sauce

1 24 oz.  tub cottage cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan

4 cups. grated mozzerella cheese

1 package oven ready Barilla lasagna noodles

Procedure:

1.)  Saute the trifecta: garlic, onions and green peppers in canola oil

2.) Add ground beef

3.) In goes the zucchini

4.) and the carrots

5) After the beef has been browning and the carrots start to get soft add the diced tomatoes and jar of spaghetti sauce.  Then set aside.

6. ) In a large bowl add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, 2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese and mix thoroughly.

7. ) You are now ready to layer.  Spray a 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray and pour 2 cups sauce over bottom of pan, then a layer of 4 oven ready lasagna noodles, then spoon a third of cheese mixture, then layer of spinach and repeat this step two more times for a total of three layers.  Then add last layer of lasagna noodles  on top, remaining sauce and top with 2 cup of mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

8.) Your oven ready lasagna is ready!!

Wrap  tightly with aluminum foil and store in fridge.  Bake within 2 days!.

 Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.  Take off aluminum foil, then bake for another 5 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes ~  Serve

Whoo!  Now with a little peace of mind knowing my husband had a great meal to cook, I went off to work and had a great last minute encounter with my BFF Heather and her family who were heading back to California! Love it!  God and the universe works miracles!  Love you Heather!

Filipino Mocha Cake Recipe, Goldilocks style!

This is it everyone.  I am super stoked about this weeks post because A.)  blogeina is giving me mad props on blogging and has given me the hook up on the hook up. and B.) This cake is an insanely good, slap yo mama worthy recipe!

Anyhoot, I just got into my hotel room here in San Franciso working a flight in from Honolulu! The passengers are always so nice coming from Hawaii.  It’s that vacation spirit they got going on.  What a nice change of pace serving Hawaiian vacationers versus businessmen. The airlines has us staying in the financial district here in Chinatown and I love getting lost shopping at the tea bars and going to the bakeries.  The Chinese have a similar version of a mocha frosting in some of their pastries that resemble that of the Filipino mocha cake, which is the recipe I am sharing on this weeks post for the  end all and be all cake of the Philippines.

I’ve searched far and wide for the infamous mocha sponge cake recipe just like how the famous Filipino Goldilocks bakery does it and after several attempts and failures, I’ve finally come up with a winner.  I was driven to make this cake, mainly because of my love for it as a child.  And my shear determination of finding the “secret” recipe no Filipina would ever share with me.  That and I recently purchased a half sheet mocha cake from a lady that sold it out of her house and the price was dang near 75 dollars.  What?!  I couldn’t figure out why it was so expensive.  Then when I made it for the first time, I realized how labor intensive this cake was to make.  Now I understand why she charged me like she was about to take my house.   I recently made this cake for my brothers birthday and I give myself mad props for my baking skills!  It was a hit.   There were no leftovers.  To best describe Filipino mocha cake, it is light, fluffy and not too sweet!  The frosting is light, sweet and buttery, enhanced with a yummy chocolatey-coffee  flavor.  It is one of the best, if not, most popular cakes in the Philippines and I am in love with it.  Before I get started, this recipe has more pictures than I usually put up  on my food posts because it is so labor intensive.  Sorry about that!  Hope you all enjoy it.

As always thank you for visiting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, vote 5 stars 😉 or even follow me. I have a ton of recipes  on this site you maybe interested in.  I would love that!  I’ll get back with you as soon as I can with your questions and comments. Promise.  Happy eating and have a beautiful day!

This recipe is made in a 12 by 18 inch cake pan which serves 54 people when cut in 2 by 2 inch pieces.

What you will need:

cooking spray

parchment paper

12 large eggs yolks

1 and 3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp instant coffee granules

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cocoa powder

2 tsp water

1 cup oil

2 cups cake flour

2 and a 1/2 tsp baking powder

12 egg whites

2 tsp cream of tarter

For the butter-cream mocha frosting:

1 1/3 cup sugar

6 large egg whites

4 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules

1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

 1 Tablespoon water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla  extract

Procedure:

1.) Spray the bottom of cake pan with cooking spray.  I am using a 12 by 18 by 2 inch Wilton cake pan.

2.) Cut a piece of  Parchment paper to size of the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

3.)  Starting with the cake batter, separate egg yolks and eggs whites.   Set aside egg whites for later use.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl or standing mixer, mix egg yolks and sugar  until you reach a fluffy pale yellow consistency.  About 3 minutes.

4. ) Mix Vanilla, cocoa powder, instant coffee, oil in small separate bowl.   Then pour to mixture and mix well.

5.) Sift cake flour and baking powder and add to wet ingredients.  Mix well!

6.) In a separate bowl, fluff egg whites.  Add cream of tarter and mix  until white peaks form.

7.)  Take your fluffed egg whites and gently fold with a large spatula into cake batter a third at a time being very carefully as not to deflate the mixture.

Your batter will go from a dark brown dense consistency to a light fluffy, airy batter like so………..

8.) Pour on parchment lined baking sheet.

9.) Place in a preheated 375 degree oven.  This cake cooks very fast.   Bake on the bottom rack for 8 minutes and then the top rack for another 8 minutes.

Here it goes on the bottom rack…

And then the top rack half way through baking…..

Cake is done when you insert a knife or toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.   Cool completely.

For the frosting,

10. ) make a double boiler by putting a large  glass  heat proof bowl over a sauce pan halfway filled with water..

11.)  Place sugar and egg whites in bowl  and set on a stove in your double boiler with water already boiling in the bottom of double boiler…

12.)  Immediately start blending with a hand held electric mixer blending so the eggs do not cook. mix  until you reach a marshmallow like consistency.  About 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan being careful as the bowl will be very hot.

13.) Place in a standing mixer and beat on medium for 5  minutes

14.)  Add half of room temperature butter and beat until well incorporated and then add the second half of the butter.  Beat for another 10 minutes on medium speed.

15.)  Mix water, instant coffee, vanilla, cocoa powder in a separate bowl.  Then pour into frosting and mix well.

Now you are ready to frost

16.) Invert cooled cake onto a cake board, then carefully peel back parchment paper.

17.) Begin frosting cake with a cake spatula.  A butter knife will do if you don’t have one.  Since it was my brothers birthday, I decided to get out my fancy piping bags…..

18. ) and make a shell border…..

19. ) Then I took about a quarter cup of the frosting and a few drops of green food coloring in a bowl mixed and put in a sand which bag.  Snipped the end for piping the lettering for  “happy birthday” .

20.) And I usually sprinkle dark chocolate shavings on top but my son trumped me with the sprinkles so hey, why not!

And voila!  The infamous Filipino mocha cake in all its glory.  Packed and ready to go!  Fil-Am cook here….Represent!!!!

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