Wednesday, April 17

dove does it again...

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you ~ Song of Solomon 4:7

Check out this very impactful 3 minute video from Dove. We are often our biggest critics.

spring on up!

Tuesday, April 16

strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
what you need [cake]...
Nonstick vegetable spray
All-purpose flour, for pans
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup pureed strawberries, strained*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 large eggs, beaten

what you need [frosting]...1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 3 cups (approx. 1 box) confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tablespoon milk (if needed)

what to do [cake]...Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside [I made mine in a bundt cake pan but takes much longer to cook]

- Prepare the cake batter; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pureed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 26 to 28 minutes [bundt cake took an hour to cook]

- Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

what to do [frosting]...

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.Slowly add the sugar in 1 cup batches until desired sweetness is achieved. You may need less than 3 cups if you like your frosting less sweet. Stir in vanilla. Add milk slowly if you need a looser consistency.

- Frost cake as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

* You can use fresh or frozen strawberries. If you use frozen, let them defrost on a cookie sheet. Then place in a food processor and pulse until pureed. Run through a medium-sized strainer to remove the seeds.

Monday, April 15

taco casserole

taco casserole
what you need...
2 ounces Tortilla Chips (about 24), plus additional for serving
1 Tbs Chili Oil (or olive oil and red pepper flakes)
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 pound Ground Chicken
2 Tbs Taco Seasoning
1 can Black Beans, drained
1 cup Hot Salsa
1 cup shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese

what you do...Heat oven to 350.  Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sautee until soft. Add meat and taco seasoning. Cook, breaking up meat with a spatula, for about 5 minutes. Add beans and salsa. Mix well and continue to cook until salsa thickens.

Line the bottom of a large baking dish with tortilla chips, pressing down on them lightly to break them into bite-sized pieces. Spread the meat and bean mixture over the chips and top with cheese. Add sliced jalepenos or other toppings that you want to be cooked. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and gooey. Scoop up or with additional chips or into tortillas if desired.