Lunch Lady Brownies


    Ingredients

    1 cup of Butter (I use unsalted)
    1/2 cup of Cocoa (I used unsweetened)
    2 cups of All Purpose Flour
    2 cups of Sugar
    4 Eggs
    4 teaspoons of Vanilla
    1 cup of Chopped Nuts (optional)

    Directions:


    I melt the Butter in the microwave and put into my mixing bowl, then I add cocoa and mix together until smooth.
    Add flour, and sugar. Beat together and then add eggs, vanilla, and nuts. Mix until combined. Do not over stir!
    Pour into greased, floured 9x13 baking pan*.
    * An additional part of this recipe said that if you want to double the recipe, use a large baking sheet.
    Additional Note * This batter will not be runny like a cake mix. You might have to spread it out over your pan with a rubber spatula.
    Bake 20-25 minutes @350 F or until done. I would check at it at 20 minutes. As per comments, some have had to cook as long as 35 minutes depending on oven and altitude.
    Wait only about 10 minutes to frost brownies.
    Frost them while they are warm (not hot).
    This frosting it what makes these brownies so great in my opinion because these brownies are not very sweet on their own. The warm frosting sinks into brownies a little bit which is why you frost them while warm.
    The Chocolate Icing Recipe:
    To make while the brownies bake
    1/4 cup of softened Butter
    1/4 cup of Evaporated canned Milk (regular milk is fine)
    1/4 cup of unsweetened Cocoa
    3 cups of Powdered Sugar
    Dash of Salt
    Mix all together and frost as desired.

SICILIAN ORANGE CAKE


    Ingredients

    250 g lightly salted butter, softened at room temperature
    200 g caster sugar
    4 medium eggs
    250 g self raising flour, sifted
    finely grated zest from 1 large navel orange or 2 regular-sized oranges
    120 ml freshly squeezed orange juice

    Instructions


    Preheat oven to 170°C. Line and grease an 8″ x 8″ square cake tin.
    Beat butter and sugar together (creaming method) till pale and fluffy.
    Add 1 beaten egg to the mixture one at a time, beating thoroughly till well incorporated. If the mixture starts to curdle towards the last egg, beat in a tablespoon of flour to prevent curdling.
    Mix in grated orange zest.
    Alternately fold in flour and orange juice (I did this in 4 batches).
    Pour mixture into cake tin. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre of cake.
    Leave the cake, in its tin, to cool on a wire rack. Unmold, cut into slices and serve.

Mexican Picadillo


    Ingredients

    1lb lean ground beef
    2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2inch cubes
    1/2 cup yellow onion, diced fine (1/4 inchor less)
    1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced fine (1/4 inch or less)
    1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced fine
    2 tablespoon canola oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground coarse ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon fresh ground comino (cumin)
    1 cup beef stock
    1/2 cup cilantro
    2 large tomatoes, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/2inch pieces

    Directions:


    Heat a large skillet and, when hot, add the canola oil. Add the ground beef, crumbling as you put it in the skillet.
    When lightly browned, add the onions, red bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and all the spices. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, and then add the diced potatoes, and then the cilantro.
    Add beef stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, put into a bowl and serve over Spanish rice or with hot flour tortillas.

Mom’s Goulash


    Ingredients

    1/2 lb macaroni
    1 1/2 lbs ground beef
    1 large onion, diced
    garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, & hot sauce to taste
    2 (14.5 oz) cans whole stewed tomatoes, undrained
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    Tomato juice as needed

    Instructions


    Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions. While it’s cooking, brown the ground beef and onion together in an extra-large skillet or in a dutch oven. Drain and season with spices to taste. In a large bowl, mash tomatoes with potato masher and add to beef along with the ketchup. Drain macaroni and add to the beef mixture, stirring well. Taste and add additional seasoning as needed. I didn’t need to add any tomato juice to mine, but if you like yours very juicy you can add as much tomato juice as you like. Phyllis adds it to her leftovers, which I would also recommend, because the noodles tend to soak up all the juice with time.

Quick Italian Cream Cake


    Ingredients

    1 (16.25-ounce) package white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
    3 large eggs
    1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
    2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
    3 T Rum (optional)
    Cream Cheese Frosting (below)

    Preparation


    Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
    Bake at 350° for 15 to 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
    Sprinkle each cake layer evenly with rum, if desired; let stand 10 minutes.
    Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chill 2 hours before slicing.
    Cream Cheese Frosting

    Ingredients


    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

    Preparation


    Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Frost cake when completely cooled.

Hummingbird Cake


    Ingredients

    Cake
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups sugar (we used 1 1/2 cups)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 large eggs, beaten
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 (8-ounce or 250g) can crushed pineapple, undrained
    1 cup chopped pecans
    2 cups chopped bananas
    Frosting
    2 cup (125g) unsalted butter, room temperature
    8 ounces (250g) cream cheese, room temperature
    16 ounces (500g) icing (confectioners) sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ½ cup finely chopped pecans

    Preparation


    Cake
    Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
    Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    Mix butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until incorporated. Then mix in the confectioners sugar and vanilla until fully incorporated.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta


2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (your recipe, Cajun Seasoning Mix or store-bought)
2 tablespoons butter
1 thinly sliced green onion
1 -2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon dried basil
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
Garnish
1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS


Watch how to make this recipe
Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through.
Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese


1 tablespoon salt
1 pound elbow, shell or other bite-size shaped pasta
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Directions


Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in large soup kettle. Add salt and pasta. Using package directions as a guide, cook until al dente. Drain. To prevent sticking, drain and immediately pour onto a large lipped baking sheet and let cool while preparing sauce.
Meanwhile, microwave the milk and chicken broth in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or bowl until hot and steamy (not boiling). Melt butter in the empty pasta pot; whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture. Continue to whisk until thick and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard, Parmesan and pepper. Turn off heat, stir in cheddar until melted.
Add drained pasta (and optional flavoring ingredients, see notes) to sauce, and stir until everything is well combined over low heat. Stir to heat through, and thin with a little water if the sauce is too thick. Serve hot.

Bubble Up Chicken Pot Pie Casserole


Ingredients:
  
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 cup diced carrots (I used my food chopper to dice)
    12 oz cooked, shredded chicken breast
    2/3 cup frozen peas (can be frozen or thawed)
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    2 cups jarred chicken gravy (I used Heinz Classic Chicken Gravy)
    1 (7.5 oz) can of refrigerated biscuit dough, biscuits cut into quarters (I used Wegmans brand, but Pillsbury also makes them – if you can only find Grands, weigh out 7.5 ounces and cut them into small bite-sized pieces)
    4 oz (1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp)

    Directions:

    Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
    Bring the oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
    Add the diced carrots and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until carrots are somewhat softened
    Place the carrots, chicken, peas, thyme and black pepper in the baking dish and stir together until combined.
    Pour the gravy over the top and mix together until the ingredients are coated with gravy.
    Add the biscuit pieces and stir in to coat. Bake for 25 minutes.
    Remove from oven and sprinkle the Cheddar over the top.
    Return to the oven for another 15 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf


    Ingredients:

    ½ cup loosely packed brown sugar
    ½ cup ketchup
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 ½ pounds ground sirloin or beef of your choice
    ½ cup milk
    2 eggs
    1 ½ teaspoons salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, rounded generously
    1 small onion, chopped
    ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, rounded generously
    ¾ cups finely crushed saltine crackers (~12 crackers)
    Lindsey’s Secret Ingredient: chopped fresh rosemary for serving. It’s not necessary but it takes the dish to a whole other level!

    Instructions


    Preheat oven to 350°.
    Mix together brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce in small saucepan. I double this sauce, so that there is extra for serving. Trust me, you’ll want to too.
    In a mixing bowl mix all remaining ingredients through crackers.
    Shape into a loaf and place in a 9” x 9” pan. You can make it in a loaf pan but the larger pan allows the fat to drain away from the loaf.
    Spread enough of the ketchup mixture on the top to generously cover the loaf. Allow it to drop down the sides. It will help keep the meat moist and add tremendous flavor.
    Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until juices are clear. I like to use a miniature meat thermometer, because I find judging whether or not the juices are clear incredibly stressful.
    While the meat cooks bring the extra sauce to a boil and then simmer on low. Serve over mashed potatoes (obligatory, no?), drizzle with extra sauce and sprinkle with chopped, fresh rosemary to taste. Ah-mazing. Told you so.

Mounds Brownies


    Ingredients:

    1 brownie mix (9x13 size)...mixed and baked according to box directions.
    5 cups shredded coconut
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    Instructions
    Mix the coconut and milk together.
    As soon as you take the brownies from the oven, spread the coconut/milk mixture over hot brownies.
    1 container chocolate frosting..microwaved just longer enough to make the frosting pourable. Pour over the brownies topped with coconut mixture. Spread to seal edges



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Chocolate Eclair Cake


    Ingredients:

    Crust:
    1 cup water
    ½ cup butter
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    4 large eggs
    Filling:
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
    3 cups milk
    Topping:
    1 8 oz. container cool whip (just enough for a thin layer. I don't use the whole container) or one batch of homemade whipped cream
    chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce

    Instructions:


    Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9"X13" glass baking pan.
    For the Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Mixture will be very wet. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won't be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. No big deal but I like the crust to go up the sides a bit.
    Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don't want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don't touch or push bubbles down).
    For the Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding by beating the pudding mix and the milk for 3 minutes and put in the fridge until set. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.



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World's Best Lasagna


    Ingredients:

    1 pound sweet Italian sausage
    3/4 pound lean ground beef
    1/2 cup minced onion
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
    1/2 cup water
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    12 lasagna noodles
    16 ounces ricotta cheese
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Directions


    In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
    Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.



Chef John's Stuffed Peppers


    Ingredients:

    1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
    2 cups water
    Sauce:
    1 onion, diced
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cups marinara sauce
    1 cup beef broth
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    Peppers:
    1 pound lean ground beef
    1/4 pound hot Italian pork sausage, casing removed
    1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
    4 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
    1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for topping

    Directions


    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Bring rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the cooked rice aside.
    Cook onion and olive oil over medium heat until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer half of cooked onion to a large bowl and set aside.
    Stir marinara sauce, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes into the skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute.
    Pour sauce mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
    Combine ground beef, Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, Italian parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into bowl with reserved onions; mix well. Stir in cooked rice and Parmigiano Reggiano. Stuff green bell peppers with beef and sausage mixture.
    Place stuffed green bell pepper halves in the baking dish over tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
    Remove aluminum foil and bake until the meat is no longer pink, the green peppers are tender and the cheese is browned on top, an addition 20 to 25 minutes.


Smothered Cabbage


    Ingredients:

    1 lb smoked sausage, cut into small pieces
    1 onion, large (diced)
    1 head cabbage, medium size (chopped)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

    DIRECTIONS


    In a large saucepan, brown sausage over medium heat.
    Add onion and saute for 3 minutes.
    Add cabbage and cover.
    Cook about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Uncover and add seasonings, cook 5 minutes more.
    Serve as a main dish over rice or as a side with some cornbread, of course.
    Enjoy!



COPYCAT CINNABON CINNAMON ROLLS


    Ingredients:

    Dough
    2½ tsp. active dry yeast
    ½ cup warm water
    ½ cup sugar
    ¾ cup warm homogenized milk
    2 large eggs
    7 Tbsp. butter, divided
    5½ - 6 cups flour
    Filling
    ½ cup butter, softened
    1½ cups packed light brown sugar
    2½ Tbsp. cinnamon
    1½ tsp. cornstarch
    Icing
    4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
    ¼ cup butter, softened
    1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
    ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    Pinch of salt
    Buy Ingredients Powered by Chicory

    INSTRUCTIONS


    In a bowl of a standup mixer, fitted with a dough hook pour water and sugar in, sprinkle yeast over top and stir. Let stand for 5-10 min. until the mixture becomes foamy.
    Meanwhile melt 6 Tbsp. of butter in a microwave safe bowl, set aside to cool.
    When the yeast mixture is ready add the milk, eggs and 6 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix on low adding in 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Now add in remaining flour slowly until the dough becomes a ball. Knead on medium high for 5 min. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
    Lightly dust a work surface and take dough out and knead a few times by hand.
    Add the last Tbsp. of butter to a large bowl and microwave. Place dough into bowl and then turn over to coat with the butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and drape over a towel. Set bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen and let dough rise until doubled, about 60-90 min.
    While the dough is rising mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch for the filling and set aside.
    When the dough is ready turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and then roll it out into an 18"x24" wide rectangle. Spread on the ½ cup softened butter. Leave a 1" border around the edge.
    Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar mixture and press in with a rolling pin. Now take the top long end and roll towards yourself. Run a bead of water on the last 1" of dough to seal. Cut the dough in half and then each half in halves, you will now have 4 pieces. Cut each of the four pieces into thirds. You will have 12 rolls now.
    Grease two 8x11" pans and 6 place rolls swirl side up into each pan. Place end pieces upside down. Again, loosely cover with plastic wrap and drape with a kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise until doubled aobut 60-90 min.
    Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 20 min. or until golden brown and cooked through. Rotate pans halfway.
    While the rolls are baking make the icing. In a clean bowl of a standup mixer add in the butter and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to beat for another 3-5 min. Set aside.
    When the rolls are baked let cool for 5 min. then spread on ½ the icing. Let cool further and spread on the additional icing.



WHITE CHOCOLATE ROSE MINI CAKE


    Ingredients:

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons rose water
    1 large egg
    3/4cup flour
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 cup buttermilk
    For the buttercream:
    1 stick unsalted butter, softened
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
    2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
    rose buds, for garnish

    Instructions


    Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 6� round cake pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
    In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter, sugar, and rose water. Beat very well, about 1-2 minutes.
    Add the egg and beat until well combined, about 15 seconds.
    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add half of this to the batter and beat lightly.
    Stir in half of the buttermilk and continue beating. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat, then stir in the remaining buttermilk.
    Scrap the batter into the pan, smoothing the top and bake on a small sheet pan for 37-39 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
    Let cool on a wire rack in the pan. Carefully remove the cake from the pan once it has cooled and set aside.
    To make the buttercream: in a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and rose water and beat until combined.
    Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave at 50% power for 30 second intervals. Stir between each interval.
    Stream the white chocolate into the buttercream, and beat to combine.
    Slice the cake in half evenly to make 2 layers.
    To frost the cake, layer slightly more than half of the buttercream on top of 1 half of the cake. Gently place the second layer on top.
    To make the design as pictured, use a piping bag to make dollops of frosting all around the edges. Then, use a spatula to press the dollop down and towards the middle of the cake.
    Decorate the cake with rose buds and serve.



Chocolate Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Chocolate Buttercream


    Ingredients for:

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1 cup cream cheese
    3/4 cup butter
    1/2 tablespoon vanilla
    6 cups powdered sugar

    Instructions

    Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Add the vanilla and beat one minute more. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

    Ingredients for :


    Chocolate Buttercream

    1 cup butter (8 ounces)
    1 & 3/4 cups cocoa powder (5 ounces)
    6 cups powdered sugar (25 ounces)
    1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla

    Instructions

    In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the sugar/cocoa mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Halfway through this process, add the milk and vanilla. Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.



STEAK BITES AND POTATO BITES


    Ingredients:

    For the Potato Bites:
    1 bag of baby potatoes
    ½ cup butter, divided
    1 cup mozzarella
    1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced super small
    ½ teaspoon onion salt or powder, more or less to taste
    ½ teaspoon garlic salt or powder, more or less to taste
    ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, more or less to taste
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ¼ cup olive oil
    For the Steak Bites:
    1 and ½ pounds of steak, personally I like striploin (I'm not a sirloin fan)
    4 tablespoons butter, more or less to taste
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 to 2 tablespoons roasted garlic and pepper rub marinade

    INSTRUCTIONS


    Preheat the grill to a medium heat!
    For the Potatoes:
    Boil your potatoes ahead of time for 8 to 12 minutes depending in their size. You want them fork tender but still firm enough that they won't fall apart when hollowing them out.
    Drain your potatoes and allow to cool slightly.
    Take a small measuring spoon or melon baller and scoop out as much of the inside of the potatoes without them falling apart. Transfer those scooped out bits to a food processor bowl that's been fitted with a steel blade for mixing. Set your hollowed out potatoes aside.
    Add the rest of your ingredients to the food processor bowl. Give it a whir. If it doesn't mix well add some olive oil. You want it thick but pliable, sort of the consistency of cookie dough.
    Turn the food processor off. Unplug and remove the bowl. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon for each potato and start stuffing them. I make mine so they are overflowing, and piled high. Just how we roll here. Place the finished potatoes in a grill pan.
    Add butter, don't fear the butter. It's game day, live a little.
    Pop the grill pan on a preheated medium heat outdoor grill and cook for about 10 minutes covered. Uncover and cook another 2 to 5 minutes depending the size of your taters and the heat of your grill. You want them browning on the bottom and the filling just starting to ooze and melt.
    Obviously this is not a dish you flip over, just putting that out there in case there's anyone out there who thought it was a good idea. Don't flip over stuffed potatoes, it's bad news folks.
    Make sure you keep an eye on them while cooking. And add more butter if they stick. Yes, I actually said more butter.
    Once they are ready carefully remove them from the grill and transfer them to a serving plate. Watch out, they're hot. You'll have a literal game of hot potato happening if you're not careful.
    Serve with a big old potato loving smile!
    For the Steak Bites:
    Cut the beef into bite sized pieces, think tips when you go to a restaurant.
    Add half your butter a cast iron pan, pop that on the grill and allow it to sizzle a bit and start to turn to brown butter, then toss in your beef. Cook and stir as it cooks.
    Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss the rest of the butter and the rub marinade in the pan. You're not using it as a marinade, you're using it as a sauce for flavour. Continue to cook and allow the marinade to coat the meat. Total cooking time should only be about 6 or 8 minutes tops, depending on the size of your pieces.
    Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl or plate.
    Serve with a big old steak loving smile.



The Best Tennessee Tenders


    Ingredients:

    Chicken Tenderloins
    Rub (I use Weber’s Kickin Chicken & Chicken n Ribs)
    Restaurant Style (thin) bacon
    Salted butter
    Wood Chips (I use Apple)

    Directions:


    1: Coat each side of the tenders with rub. (I coat each side with a different rub from above)
    2: Wrap each tender with a slice of bacon (Sam’s has a 10lb box of restaurant style bacon. The slices are separated and on wax paper. They are easy to peel off. Your bacon does not need to be frozen. You like a little stretch to it. It freezes well too)
    3: Get you smoker to 300 degrees. Put your tenders on the smoker.
    4: Add some chips to the fire.
    5: Smoke your tenders at 250-300 degrees.
    6: Flip the tenders after an hour.
    7: They are done when the tenders reach 165 degrees.
    8: Slather them with a generous helping of butter.
    9: They hold well in the smallest cooler they will fit.
    10: I rinse my cooler with real hot water before putting the tenders into it.



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Super Easy Stromboli


    Ingredients:

    4 loaves frozen white bread, thawed
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/2 lb. shaved deli ham
    1/2 lb. salami, sliced
    1/2 lb. pepperoni, sliced (I like to use sandwich pepperoni)
    1/2 lb. provolone, slice thin
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan
    Spices: garlic powder, Italian blend spice, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes. (Use what you like in the amounts that you like)
    1-2 eggs, beaten

    Instructions


    additional Parmesan to sprinkle on top
    Let bread dough rise until doubled. Roll each into 12 X 15 inch rectangles. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella down the center of the bread. Arrange 1/4 of all of the meats and provolone over the mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan and spices. Roll up, jelly roll style, tucking ends and sealing seams. Repeat with remaining loaves of bread and ingredients. Place seam side down on 2 greased baking sheets. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with additional Parmesan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with pizza sauce.



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Beefy Tomato Soup


    Ingredients:

    ¾ lb. ground beef
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 (23.5) oz jar of Francesco Rinaldi Traditional No Salt Added pasta sauce
    4 cups of chicken stock
    ½ cup of cream cheese
    1½ cup elbow macaroni or short-tubed pasta
    ¼ cup fresh chopped basil, divided

    Instructions


    In a large pot heat the olive oil over meadium heat.
    Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion gets soft.
    Add the ground beef, breaking up with a spoon and cook until no longer pink, then add the garlic and stir.
    Add the salt, pepper and oregano to the beef and stir to combine.
    Next pour in the chicken stock scraping the bottom of the pot as you stir, then add the jar of pasta sauce.
    Bring the soup to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
    Stir in the cream cheese, using a whisk to incorporate it well, then add ½ of the fresh basil.
    Pour in the pasta, stir and let cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
    Spoon into bowls and garnish with the leftover basil.



CROCK POT CREAMY RANCH CHICKEN


    Ingredients:

    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
    1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup dark rum
    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 cup water
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup dark rum

    Directions


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.
    In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan.
    Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.
    To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.



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Famous Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi


    Ingredients:

    1 can large, flaky biscuits (such as Grands)
    ½ pound ground breakfast sausage
    3 Tablespoons flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    2 and ½ cups milk

    INSTRUCTIONS


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
    Prepare a small casserole dish (approximately 7x10) with cooking spray. Set aside.
    Open biscuits, and cut biscuits into quarters.
    Layer half of the quarters in prepared pan.
    Bake for 10 minutes.
    Meanwhile, prepare gravy.
    In a heavy skillet, brown the ground breakfast sausage over medium high heat until fully cooked.
    Sprinkle the cooked sausage with 3 Tablespoons of flour.
    Use a wooden spoon to stir flour into sausage until completely absorbed.
    Lower heat to medium, and cook flour/sausage mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Add milk, and stir to combine.
    Add salt and black pepper.
    Stir frequently until mixture comes to a slight boil.
    Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. (I usually add more black pepper)
    If the gravy is too thick, add a bit more milk. You want the gravy to be thickened but not too thick, not "globby," it should still be slightly runny.
    Pour gravy over the cooked biscuits.
    Layer the remaining uncooked, quartered biscuits over the gravy.
    Place casserole dish on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If they start to over-brown, you can cover with foil for the last 10 minutes or so.
    Serve immediately.
    Enjoy!