Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nanner Puddin'

I know.

I know.

I should be making something with nutmeg, or pumpkin, or apples. Nope, not me. Last night it was all about the Banana Puddin'. My friend Dana's birthday is tomorrow, and as an office treat, I made her Banana Pudding (her favorite)

Here's the Recipe:


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 bananas, sliced
1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers


- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.

- Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.

Here's What I Got:

Delicious layers of wafers, bananas, puddin' mixture, and to top it off, strawberries!

Here's What I Learned:

- This recipe is FABULOUS.

- It's ok to eat some of the pudding out of the bowl when you are done.

- In fact, you may want to make a slop bucket of extras in your left over cool whip container and chow down. Like this...

Who loves banana pudding?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We all Scream for Sour Cream (coffee cake)

Make This. Everyone at your office/home/church will love you. Seriously.

It's one of those recipes that is made with love, and it makes me smile every time I make it. One of my mom's dearest friends, Janet, died last year of breast cancer. She was a wonderful woman who was up for anything. She didn't want to miss out on a good time. She was kind-hearted and genuinely interested in the well being of those around her. She loved her friends and family, and apparently she loved to cook. This recipe comes from a cookbook her daughters put together of their favorite recipes made by their mom, Janet. My mom also got a copy and we've been hooked on this coffee cake ever sense.

Baking is about so much more than just the taste.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

- 2 Sticks of butter, softened
- 2 Cups of sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla (I usually add a little more)
- 8 oz of sour cream
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 Cups flour
- Dash of salt

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix first four ingredients together, creaming together butter and sugar
- Add in remaining ingredients. (I stir in each cup of four individually)
- Once batter has formed, pour into greased 9x13 pan and smooth out evenly, batter will be thick.
- Generously sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top of batter
- Cook for 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean



Monday, June 30, 2008

Vacation Eats

Sorry for being all lazy poster, but I just got back from a week long visit to Florida and it was heaven. I loved every second of it. It was also my boyfriend's first visit to the ocean, which was incredibly adorable...till he threw me in fully dressed.
As we all know, vacation is ALL about food. I wanted to take pictures of everything delicious I ate, but alas I was too obsessed with the seafood and key lime goodness to keep to the plan. But I snapped a few!

When you look below, you may think, "Kara, where are all the pictures of seafood?" I'm glad you asked! Seafood is my favorite ever. Trust me. I ate it every single day. From grouper sandwiches to blackened sword fish. This girl was happily satisfied by ocean critters. I was just too lazy to take pictures :)

Here's some eye candy of just a smidgen' of the deliciousness that was my vacation:

King Crab Legs- I think Caleb seriously high off of how delicious these were.
Dreamciscle Pina Colada. Very Girly. Very Delicious:
Rib dinner from a local guy with a smoker at the outdoor market. THAT RICE! Wow. Incredible. It has pieces of smoked chicken in it.

Just Ribs, for the BBQ purist:
My Mom's incredibly excessive Chili Dog:

Gyro from Hella's in Tarpon Springs, FL. Seriously the best Gyro I've ever had. Ever. (don't mind the sunburn)

Thanks for Stopping By!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One Speedy Potato

I did a quick post about this website on by other blog. However, this very cool idea needed to be shared with the Kara cooks community. I'm SO trying this next time I make some mashed taters, which just happens to be my favorite food in the entire world.

Check it out...

Has anyone tried this before?

Want to know how to repaint a piece of furniture? Check out Inspired Kara, my new blog!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chicken Enchillada Dip... a Guarenteed HIT!

I love cheese, chicken, and enchiladas so why not make them into a dip?!! I first had this at my aunt and uncle's place in Cleveland. I've been obsessed ever since. This is one of the EASIEST dishes to throw together for a last minute gathering or BBQ. I always try to keep the ingredients on hand so I can grab them in a pinch. This stuff is SERIOUSLY delicious. I've never gotten less then great things to say about this dip. Warning. It's addictive, very addictive.

The key to this recipe is a QUICHE pan. A pie pan would probably work, but for my purposes I use a Kitchen Aid Ceramic Quiche Dish. It is the perfect size. I purchased it from Tuesday Morning. Have you guys heard of this place? I love it!! Nothing glamorous about it, but tons of home stuff on major markdowns!

Here's the Recipe:

- 1 cup mayo (the real stuff)
- 1 package softened cream cheese
- 1 large can of chicken (the kind you get next to the tuna)
- 1 - 1.5 cups of your favorite shredded cheese
- 1 can of diced chilies
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- A handful of shredded cheese for the top

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. You can either use a spoon or dig down in there with your hands. Then, spread the sticky, semi-gross looking mixture into your dish, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until very bubbly. Serve with some scoops, or your favorite tortilla chips!

Here's What I Got: (Warning, no FINAL picture. I had to run out the door to a party before I could snap a pic.)

The cast of characters. Yes, I'm a generics girl. I hardly ever buy name brands.

The pre-baked dip in all it's gooey glory

Sorry for the missing pictures. There should be one of it all spread out with shredded cheese on top, and one after I pull it out of the oven with it all bubbly and chickeny and cheesy and gooey and yummy.

What I learned:
- ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS ask for a recipe when somebody makes something delicious. It's worth it!!!
- I love this dip for the days I'm feeling non-impressive and non-domestic. It's SOOO easy
- Plan for some time for the dip to cool just a bit, instead of trying to immediately head out the door with a 350 degree dish in your hand, not that I would EVER do that

Thanks for Stopping By!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fresh Herbs for Spring/Summer

I'm trying something very out of the ordinary for me...growing plants. I tried to have a garden as a small child and became traumatized when the rabbits ate all my flowers. I have not been able to keep plant-type things alive very well sense.

But in the spirit of cooking, and spring, I'm giving it another shot with a few fresh herbs. I have the world's best boss, and she has been teaching me about different types of plants and gardening and such. One Monday morning she bought be some little planted herbs from the farmer's market as a gift! Thus, I needed to get a cute pot to plant them in. And, of course the pot I wanted required a few more plants, and so the adventure begins.

For my lil' fancy herb pots I have planted:
- Regular ol' Basil
- Thyme
- Cilantro
- Spicy Globe Basil

Here's What I Got:
All of my plants all lined up

My cute planter. All three pots are connected to the same drain pan type thing. Sorry for the poor quality photo, but you get to see the cute colors of the planter!

I stole some of my mom's miracle grow potting soil.

Here they are all planted!

Spicy Globe Basil. This stuff smells REALLY good.
Cilantro! I feel some fresh salsa coming on....
And finally... Thyme
What I've Learned:
- Learning to have a green thumb may just be fun!
- Check back with me when I actually make something using the herbs. I'll let you know how it turns out!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ginger Cookies for Mom

I love my Mom and my mom loves ginger snaps and baking. Coincidentally, so do I. So, I thought what better Mother's Day present than some home made treats. So, I made her these oh-so-yummy, deliciously chewy, not-so-springtime, but who cares? chewy ginger cookies.

Here's the Recipe:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you get it in that funky little box section in the baking aisle where all the flax seed and crap like that is)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water (use orange juice if you want to bring out the ginger flavor, I did!)
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.
Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Here's What I Got:

Gritty delicious batter. It's quite the quick mix, and quite simple.

Little ball of dough all rolled up in sparkly sugar

Fresh from the oven

Taking time to cool down.

Wrapped up and ready for my mom

What I learned:
- I miss cooking/baking and blogging
- These cookies are so simple, yet so delicious
- Baked goods make the best gifts
- I wouldn't change a thing about these

Thanks for stopping by!