Thursday, May 31, 2012

Worlds Best Lasagna Recipe






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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. 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.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Japanese Style Deep Fried Shrimp







Japanese Style Deep Fried Shrimp


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Place the shrimp in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and paprika. Place eggs and panko crumbs into separate bowls.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Dip each shrimp into the flour mixture, then into the egg, and finally into the panko crumbs to coat. Fry a few at a time until golden brown. This should take no longer than 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels before serving.


Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes





Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  •  
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.



Moist Carrot Cake Recipe






Moist Carrot Cake


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, chopped nuts and flaked coconut. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Marble Peanut Butter Brownies





Marble Peanut Butter Brownies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup chocolate syrup (the regular chocolate milk kind)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9 x 13 in. (23 x 33 cm) baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended. Have your child dump in the white sugar and the brown sugar, and then crack in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture until fluffy.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the flour and the baking powder. Add this to the peanut butter mixture. Mix well.
  4. Now, spread half of the batter in the baking pan. Let your child drizzle the chocolate syrup over the batter (try to keep the syrup away from the sides of the pan), then spoon on remaining batter. (The top layer of batter may not spread easily over the chocolate syrup. Just glop it on as well as you can - it’ll be fine, you’ll see.) Swirl the mixture by running a knife through the batter several times to create a marbled effect. But don’t overswirl. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool before cutting into squares.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies




Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4c all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 c raw sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 TBSP milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c dark chocolate chips or chunks
1 c white chocolate chunks
Directions
Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Pour the melted butter into stand mixer’s work bowl. Cream the sugar and butter with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Whisk together the egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks.  Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F and place rack in center of the oven.
Scoop the dough with #20 ice scream scooper onto parchment-lined or silpat-lined baking sheets.  Limit to 6 cookies per sheet. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 12 minutes or until golden brown (may be up to 14 minutes depending on your oven), rotate the pan halfway through for even browning. Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes and then remove to cooling rack.  Repeat until all dough is made.
Cool completely & store in airtight container.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes





Super Easy, Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
The coffee (and the salt) help intensify the flavor of the chocolate. If you don't have or don't want to use coffee, just skip it and use water instead. If you do use coffee, just use what would be considered regular strength coffee (or slightly weak coffee) in America, not something super concentrated like espresso. If caffeine is an issue, use decaf. If you want to make a cake instead of cupcakes, double the recipe and use two 8-inch round cake pans and cook for 35-40 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (or 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder or instant coffee granules)
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) olive oil

Frosting:
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

METHOD

Cupcakes:
1 Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no visible clumps (cocoa tends to clump up).
3 In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until they just come together. The mixture should be thin and rather lumpy.
5 Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
6 Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Once cool, you can eat plain, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle or coat with frosting.
Frosting:
While the cupcakes are cooking, make the frosting. Melt butter in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in the cocoa until smooth. Sprinkle in about a third of the powdered sugar, stir, then sprinkle in about a half of the milk. Keep alternating with the powdered sugar and either milk or vanilla, stirring after each addition, until the frosting is the consistency you want, and smooth. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. If too stiff, add a little more milk or vanilla extract.
To pipe in a decorative pattern, scoop the frosting into the corner of a ziplock freezer bag. Use scissors to cut away 1/4-inch or so from the tip of the corner. Then just squeeze the frosting out of the bag onto the cupcakes in any design you like.
Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes.

Marble Cake







Marble Cake
Makes 10 to 12 servings

BAKERS NOTE: For the easiest way to transfer the batters to the pan, use a 2 ½–inch diameter ice cream scoop.

Softened butter for the pan
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons superfine sugar, divided
4 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/3 cup brewed strong coffee, cooled
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon almond extract


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour the inside of an 8-cup fluted tube pan and tap out the excess flour.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 1 ½ cups of the sugar, then add the vanilla. Beat until the mixture is very light in color and texture, (scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicon spatula occasionally) about 5 minutes. Slowly beat in the eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, add the flour, scraping down the bowl as needed and beating until smooth after each addition.

3. Whisk the cocoa, coffee, instant espresso powder, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and almond extract together in a medium bowl to dissolve the cocoa. Transfer a little less than half of the batter to the cocoa mixture and mix with a spoon until smooth. Using a 2 ½-inch diameter ice cream scoop, alternate scoops of the vanilla and chocolate batters into the pan. With a chopstick, swirl the batters together, taking care not to touch the sides of the pan. Gently smooth the top.

4. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely.


(The cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.)




Coffee Tiramisu





Coffee Tiramisu

ingredients 

For the coffee-flavored sponge cake: 
4 eggs, separated 
2/3 cup sugar, divided 
1/4 cup hot brewed espresso 
4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour 
Pinch salt 


For the mascarpone filling: 
4 egg yolks 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as KahlĂșa or Tia Maria 
Pinch salt 
3/4 cup mascarpone 
1/2 cup heavy cream 


For assembly: 
1 cup hot brewed espresso or double-strength coffee 
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate 


how to make 
For the sponge cake 
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan or jelly roll pan measuring 14x11 inches or 15x10 inches (or quite close to those measurements) with kitchen parchment. Using a stand mixer with its whisk attachment or an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the hot espresso on high until thick and voluminous, at least 6 min. In another bowl and with clean beaters, whisk the egg whites on medium speed. When they reach the soft-peak stage, slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar with the mixer running. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the whites are glossy and smooth with peaks that hold their shape without drooping, another 1 or 2 min. Fold one-third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten them, and then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Sift the flour and salt over the top of the mixture and fold it in gently. Spread the batter evenly on the prepared sheet pan. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed and the cake doesn't stick to your fingers, 12 to 14 min. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 min. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a cooling rack. Gently peel off the parchment and allow the cake to cool completely.

For the filling 
Set a pan of water to simmer and fill a large bowl with ice. In a medium stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, coffee liqueur, and salt. Set the bowl over, but not touching, the simmering water and whisk until the mixture thickens, the whisk leaves ribbons trailing off of it, and you can see the bottom of the bowl when you scrape the whisk along the bottom, 6 to 7 min. Cool the yolk mixture by setting the bowl on the ice bath and whisking the mixture occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk together the mascarpone and cream until it holds peaks. When the yolk mixture is cool, gently fold in the cream mixture until combined. Keep the mixture cool.

For assembly 
Divide the sponge cake into thirds (three rectangles about 4-1/2x11 or 5x10 inches). Lay one of the cake rectangles on the bottom of a rectangular pan (I use a Pyrex baking dish). Brush its top liberally with one-third of the hot espresso. Spread just under half of the mascarpone filling over the cake. Grate about one-third of the unsweetened chocolate on top of the mascarpone. Repeat with another layer of cake, espresso, mascarpone filling, and chocolate. Top with the last layer of cake, brush on the last of the coffee, spread on a very thin layer of mascarpone, and grate the rest of the chocolate on top. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. Slice and serve.



Delicious Cheesecake





Cheesecake Recipe

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or other shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds cottage cheese
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
Mix the graham cracker crumbs with sugar, cinnamon and butter. Keep 3/4 cup to sprinkle over the top. Press remainder of crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan, lining bottom and sides. Beat eggs until light and foamy, then gradually mix in the rest of the sugar and beat until light. Mix in salt, lemon juice and rind, cream, cheese and flour. Strain through a fine sieve. Pour into lined pan, sprinkle with remaining crumbs and nuts. Bake at 350 deg. F. about 1 hour or until center is firm. Turn off heat, open oven door, let stand in oven 1 hour or until cooled.




Homemade Greek Yogurt





Homemade Greek Yogurt


This is a basic recipe for homemade yogurt using commercial full fat milk. The yogurt is delicious as is, but can be made into the thick yogurt that is such a favorite in Greek cooking by straining.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart (32 ounces) of full fat sheep or cow's milk (pasteurized)
  • 2 tablespoons of previously homemade yogurt or plain unflavored yogurt with active live cultures
  • 2 tablespoons of full fat milk (same type)

Preparation:

Start with all ingredients at room temperature.
  1. Heat the milk just to the boiling point and pour into a non-metal container.
  2. Let cool to lukewarm (100-105F). A skin will form on top.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons of yogurt (homemade or commercial) with 2 tablespoons of milk.
  4. Add to the lukewarm mixture, carefully pouring down the side so that any skin that may have formed on top is not disturbed.
  5. Cover with a clean dishtowel and place on another towel in a warm, dry place for at least 8 hours (or overnight) until it thickens.
      Note: 8 to 12 hours is best. The longer the yogurt coagulates beyond that time, the more sour the taste becomes.
  6. Carefully drain any excess liquid.
  7. Refrigerate for 4 hours before using.
  8. Store in the refrigerator and use within 4-5 days.
  9. Don't forget to save a small amount to make the next batch!
The yogurt can be eaten as is, along with the creamy skin on top.


Thursday, May 17, 2012



Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Harriet Van Horne








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