Friday, February 22, 2013

Sort of Italian Cream Cake; but definitely made with love!

The dessert I made for valentine's Day was a special creation for Trent.  He loves the Italian Cream Cake served at Olive Garden.  So I thought I would set out and make one.  Well, it didn't turn out like Olive Garden's but it is a keeper.  So much so that after Trent finished his Valentine's Day Sort of Italian Cream Cake he asked me make a second when we had friends over.

Here's my recipe for Sort of Italian Cream Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Butter a spring form pan.  Combine all ingredients.  Pour into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 65-75 minutes.
When cake has cooled to room temperature place in refrigerator and chill for a couple hours.  Slice cake into three layers and fill with the filling below.  Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and you're done.
1/2 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup powder sugar
2 heaping teaspoons lemon curd
6 ounces cream cheese, softened.
Beat the cream and sugar together until it forms peaks; but not to the butter stage.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Chill.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's dinner at the Snow's

Our son Adam loves Spaghetti and meatballs so for his Valentine's Day meal, you guessed it he got spaghetti and meatballs. 

Here's the recipe

2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs

Mix in a large bowl.  Roll into 1- 1 1/2 inch balls.  Fry in a little bit of oil until browned on all sides.  Bake for 15- 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Any left over meat balls get made into meatball sandwiches later in the week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Anyone for French Apple Custard Cake?

The cake was such a hit that Trent ate half of it while I was gone to Cub Scouts!  Here's the recipe

Michelle's French Apple Custard Cake
Grease a spring form pan with butter.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Toss the following ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
5 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced to 1/8th thickness (I used a mix of Jonathan and Granny Smith)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 Tbl. cinnamon
In another bowl combine the following dry ingredients and set aside.
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
In food processor combine the following ingredients
1/2 cup melted butter
1-8 oz. package cream cheese
1 C. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix cream cheese mixture and dry ingredients to form a batter.
Remove 1 cup of batter and set aside.
Add 2 large egg yolks to remaining batter.  Stir in apple mixture and spoon into prepared spring form pan.
Add 2 Tbl. flour to 1 cup reserved batter and pour on top of apple mixture.
Bake for 75 minutes.
Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Day of Creativity

Today started out like most, until I dropped a bag of apples from the top shelf of my fridge.  I knew I had to make something right  away or the apples would be wasted.  I decided I would try to reinvent the French apple cake with more of an apple custard base and a cakier top.  It's in the oven right now and if it's delicious I will post the recipe tomorrow.

Have a great day! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Pancakes

The typical evening routine at the Snow household includes Momma Snow asking what her men want for breakfast in the morning.  Last night Adam asked if I would make some chocolate chip pancakes.  I knew a traditional pancake would not have the body to support chocolate chips; but perhaps a sour cream pancake would, especially if I used mini chocolate chips.  The recipe was a hit.  I made half of the batch with mini chocolate chips and the other half plain for the rest of the family. 

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Pancakes

2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 cups milk

Optional: Mini chocolate chips

Directions: Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips into a medium bowl and stir until smooth.  Ladle batter onto a greased hot griddle. I use a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, if desired.  Flip pancakes when edges are golden brown.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A birthday breakfast recipe

One of Adam's favorite places for dinner!

Today is Adam's birthday and he choose for breakfast Julie's waffles with homemade buttermilk syrup, sausage and eggs.  I really like these waffles; they are light, crispy and hold up to even a hot blackberry compote without going soggy.
Here's the recipe:

Julie’s Waffles
(Serves 6)
1 ¾ cup flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 egg white
1 ¾ cup milk
½ cup oil
Directions: In a tall narrow bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.  (Be careful not to over beat or waffles will be crumbly and grainy.  This advice holds true for any recipe that calls for beaten egg whites.)  In another bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Fold in egg whites 1/3 at a time.  Cook in a lightly greased waffle iron. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shrimp Salad Sandwich

Today for lunch I am going to have a Shrimp Salad Sandwich and a bowl of homemade tomato basil soup.  If you care to join me, here's the recipe-

1/2 pound salad shrimp
1/3 of an orange or yellow bell pepper
1/2 tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
dill rye bread, toasted

Directions-  Mix all ingredients and spoon onto toasted dill rye bread.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Food Contests!

If you like to enter food contests here's a few to enter
Hidden Valley Ranch Sweepstakes
Pillsbury Bake Off
Taste of Home (They have 5 contests listed this year)
And if you are interested in a clearing house site for cooking contests you might be interested in Cooking Contest Central.  They charge a membership fee of $25.00 a year.  I have never been a member so I couldn't tell you how encompassing their list of contests is.

If you win, be sure to let me know!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I received an email from a reader who had many questions about my frozen crepe post.

  • You can freeze crepes up to 4 months; however, you MUST remove all of the air in the bag or the crepes will pick up a "freezer" taste.
  • If you are going to freeze crepes, separate each individual crepe with parchment paper or wax paper and store them in a gallon freezer bag.  I remove all of the air with a straw.
  • I then place the bag in a plastic container to protect the edges from getting banged up and broken.
  • Frozen crepes must be completely thawed before separating, even if you have separated them with parchment paper or they tend to break.
  • NEVER, EVER, freeze filled crepes!  They become soggy.
Hope this helps clarify my earlier post.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Free pancakes on Feb. 5th!

In honor of national pancake day, IHOP restaurants in Utah and Southeastern Idaho will be giving away free pancakes from 7-10 am! 

Yes, you read correctly, free buttermilk pancakes! 

In turn, IHOP is asking patrons to voluntarily donate to the Primary Children's Hospital.  100% of proceeds will be given to the hospital.

For more information please visit:

Merci Beaucoup for Beef Short Ribs!

Trent told me that if I wasn't recovering from my surgery he would have taken me to Paris.  I laughed and said," ...more like Paris, Idaho!"  Hence, my beret. 

Even though we didn't travel to Paris, France or even Paris, Idaho, we did travel to our kitchen and had a marvelous time.  I sat at the kitchen bar with my leg propped up and Trent cooked and wrote the recipe down as we went along.  It was a bit of challenge, because I don't measure with traditional measuring tools; I use my hands and fingers.  A pinch of this a handful of that.  And as it is every time I write a cook book or someone in the family wants a recipe that is in my head or someone asks me to create a new recipe, I have to measure it out with my fingers or hand and then transfer it into a teaspoon or measure cup.

Trent patiently and diligently recorded the recipe.  As a result of his labors, we now have a recorded short rib recipe. 

Anniversary Beef Short Ribs



Serves 4 people

 1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp oil

1 tsp crushed garlic

2 lbs of Beef-Short Ribs (about 3”x3” cubes)

1 small yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 bay leaves

1tsp Marjoram powder

1 cup of 100% red grape juice

½ tsp ground black pepper

3 Cups beef stock

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place the butter, oil, and garlic in a large baking pot. Melt together on high heat on the stove top. Add the meat and sear/brown the meat exterior on all sides.  Remove browned meat from pot and set aside.

 Add the chopped onion and bay leafs to remaining sauces in the pot and sate on medium heat; when onions are slightly soft stir in the Marjoram powder. Next add the grape juice, black pepper, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Bring the liquid to a full boil. Place the beef into the pot and cover with a lid.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 2-2.5 hours or until the meat is very tender.

To make gravy:

Remove the meat and set aside. Skim the fat/oils off the top of the remaining sauce/drippings in the pot.  In 1/4 cup of cool water, dissolve 1 Tbsp of corn starch. Place the drippings pot on the stove top on medium heat. Drizzle the starch solution into the drippings and stir continuously until it thickens into gravy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mexican Baked Ice

Michelle's Mexican Baked Ice Cream

I was asked by to create a unique recipe using potato chips.  A short while later, Mexican Baked Ice Cream was born.  Ta-ta-dah-dah!

Mexican Baked Ice Cream is much quicker and easier than tradition Mexican Deep Fried Ice Cream and yes, it is made with Lay's Potato Chips!

You can access Will Budiaman's novel article at :

Along with my recipe at

My Anniversary Menu!

This is my favorite wedding picture.

Trent and I will be celebrating our anniversary this weekend.  Picture me sitting at the kitchen bar with my leg propped up and giving my sweetheart instructions on how to make the following:

Trent and Michelle's Anniversary Menu

Braised short ribs
Blue cheese polenta
Ginger carrots and parsnips
Green salad
Flourless chocolate torte

Makes your mouth water, doesn't it!
I don't know about you; but, if I were you I would be saying, "Okay, the menu is fine but where's a recipe?"  I thought I would share my recipe for Flourless Chocolate Torte.  Literally, this recipe took me over a year to develop. 
Flourless Chocolate Torte
Flourless Chocolate Torte Recipe
(16 Servings)
Cocoa for dusting spring form pan

Butter for greasing spring form pan
2 1/3 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1¼ cups butter
6 eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
Optional garnish- Whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries
Directions: Preheat oven to 300°F.  Place a pie pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Grease a spring form pan and dust with cocoa.  Place butter in a large bowl and microwave until melted.  Add mini chocolate chips and cover with a plate.  Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Stir butter and chocolate chip mixture until smooth.  This eliminates the need for a double boiler pan to melt the chocolate chips.
In another large bowl mix with an electric mixer egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt until egg mixture is light yellow and thick.  This takes about 3 minutes on medium high speed.  Pour in chocolate mixture and cocoa and mix until smooth and well mixed.
In another bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until medium firm peaks form.  Fold egg whites into chocolate batter ½ at a time.  Remember to fold not mix!  Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven.  Pour one cup boiling water into pie pan quickly closing oven door.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out moist but not liquid.
Remove torte from oven and cool on a wire rack.  When torte has cooled to room temperature refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

 You will find my Ginger carrots and parsnips on page 135 of my latest cook book, Quality Cooking at a fraction of the cost: Mastering the art of loss leader menu planning.