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Just a girl that loves cooking in the great state of Texas!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake or Three Milks Cake, a delectable mexican dessert, that will make love with your mouth. Ok, so maybe those weren't the best words to use, but this will give you a really good feeling when you eat it! No pun intended! This is my husbands all time favorite dessert. We make this several times a year and for every birthday he has!

This recipe is inspired by a recipe it can be found here, Tres Leches Cake 


For the cake;

1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Whole Milk

For Three Milk Mix;

1/ 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 12 Ounce Can Evaporated Milk
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 14 Ounce Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Prepare cake;

Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl for a stand mixer add eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Fit mixer with paddle attachment and beat on medium high for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.

While the egg mixture is mixing, prepare a 13x9 glass dish by buttering it. Prepare the dry mixture for cake, in a medium bowl add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well. Set aside.

After 10 minutes turn off your stand mixer and add 1/2 the flour mixture to bowl. Turn mixer to low and incorporate flour mix. Without turning off mixer gradually add milk to bowl. Turn mixer off and mix in remaining flour mixture just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 25- 30 minutes. Just until middle is set and cake is lightly browned on top. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes, i recommend an hour.

While cake is cooling prepare the tres leches mix.

In a heatproof bowl, i use a pyrex 8 cup measuring bowl. Combine condensed milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and ground clove. Stir well.

In a medium pot add in heavy cream, evaporated milk, and cinnamon stick. Using a whisk stir mixture over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep for 10 minutes.

Using a fine mesh strainer strain the steeped cream mixture into condensed milk mixture. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Once cake has cooled, using a fork poke holes all over cooled cake. I like to start at one corner and work my way diagonally across cake and then repeat process on the opposite end. If cake sticks to fork while poking holes, wipe with a damp paper towel and continue.

Slowly pour the tres leches mix over entire cake. Cover tightly over top of dish with plastic wrap, making sure plastic doesn't touch cake. Refrigerate overnight.

Serve with whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries.

For whip cream, take beaters of a hand mixer and medium size bowl and chill in the freezer for at least an hour. To your chilled bowl add 1 cup of heavy cream and beat on high with hand mixer until stiff peaks form, add sugar to taste. 

For the cake;

This is my secret ingredient, it isn't included in the recipe, but i add this in addition to the vanilla extract

Mix all dry ingredients

Add egg, sugar and vanilla into mixing bowl

Mix on medium high

Butter cake dish while beating egg mixture

After a few minutes you can already see the fluffiness

After 10 minutes its ready for half of flour mix

Add milk while mixer is on low

Cake batter is ready

Pour batter into baking dish and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes

While cake is baking make tres leches mix

Mix sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and spices in bowl

Stir well

Add cream, evaporated milk and cinnamon stick to pot

Carefully stirring with a whisk

Strain milk mixture into sweetened condensed milk mixture

Stirring well

Finished cake, cooling

After cooled poke holes with fork

Ready for tres leches

Give it a good stir

Pour slowly over cake

Ready for fridge

Cover tightly with plastic wrap

Make whip cream

Beat cream with chilled beaters in chilled bowl

Almost done

Whip cream is ready
Get ready for it

There it is!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Fajitas with Fresh Guacamole

Ready for some spice in your life? This recipe will take your chicken fajitas from ordinary to wowsa! The chipotle bbq sauce is a little spicy, a little sweet and full of flavor. Served on a bed of caramelized onions and peppers. Sprinkled with cheesy queso blanco. Balancing the heat out with some fresh guacamole. Your tastebuds will be thanking you!

For the chipotle bbq sauce, you'll need;

 You can make this the night before you cook your fajitas.

Our favorite spicy barbecue sauce and chipotle peppers


1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce
2/3 Cup Spicy Barbecue Sauce
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Large Clove of Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Teaspoon of Adobo Sauce from Chipotle Peppers
2 Chipotle Peppers, Minced

In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook on medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce is done when it is a nice thick consistency.

Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard whats left in strainer. Refrigerate sauce until needed.

Prepare caramelized onions and peppers:

 I like to start this step right before i put the fajitas on to cook. 

This recipe is enough for two servings. If you need more double recipe.

You'll need;

2 Onions, yellow or white, sliced into strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
Olive Oil
Dark Brown Sugar
Balsamic Vinegar

In a large skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil and throw in sliced onions. Cook on medium heat and don't stir very often. If onions start browning too quickly, turn heat down.

 After 5 minutes add sliced bell peppers. After 10 minutes or so add a sprinkle of salt a dash of balsamic vinegar and dark brown sugar to skillet.

 Cook down for another 10-15 minutes until browned. If onions and peppers start to dry out add a few tablespoons of water and stir well to help re-moisten mix. Set aside until ready to eat.

Prepare chicken fajitas;

 On this occasion, we used premarinated chicken breasts. If you need a marinade, here's a quick and easy marinade packed full of flavor for fajitas. This can be used for beef fajitas also.

1/4 cup each of lime juice, olive oil, tequila
a pack of fajita seasoning
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Chicken Breasts

Marinade in a large freezer bag for a few hours turning occasionally.

We cook ours on the grill. Medium high-heat until no longer pink in the middle. Cover with foil and let rest for 7-10 minutes. After cooled, slice fajita style.

For Guacamole;

2 Avocados
1/2 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
2 Tablespoons Onion, minced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
3 Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice of one half of Lime

Cut avocado in half. Remove skins and seeds. Place in bowl. Add cilantro, onions, jalapeno and garlic to bowl. Mash with a fork. Add tomatoes, lime juice, salt and pepper.

For assembling the fajitas you'll need;

Prepared chipotle bbq sauce, warmed
Chicken fajitas
Caramelized onions and peppers
Queso Blanco shredded cheese, or any light colored cheese, monterey jack is also a good choice.

Place a serving of caramelized peppers onto a plate. Top with chicken fajita. Drizzle with chipotle bbq sauce. Top with shredded cheese.

We served this dish with hot corn tortillas, beans and rice.
For the Chipotle Bbq Sauce;

Add all ingredients into medium size pan.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes

Using a spoon strain sauce

Discard whats left

Finished chipotle bbq sauce

Prepare onions and peppers;

Cook onions for about 5 minutes on medium heat

Add peppers

Almost done

Chicken Fajitas;

After cooking,let rest and cool.
Slice fajita style

For Guacamole;

Chop veggies

Add avocado,cilantro,onions and jalapeno to bowl. Mash with fork

Finished guacamole

Getting hungry yet?

Monday, August 5, 2013

12 Layer Lasagna

Ah, Lasagna one of our favorite Italian dishes! This recipe is loaded with cheese and a rich meat sauce. I must confess i'm a big fan of Stouffer's brand frozen lasagna. I find this to be very similar to their recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

First, you'll need to make the meat sauce, i make mine in a 5 quart slow cooker and it yields around 8 cups.

Ingredients for meat sauce:

1 Pound Ground Beef

3 Italian Sausages, i use a mild, (You can also substitute a pack of Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage)

1 Yellow or White Onion, finely minced

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Carrots, peeled and grated

1 Can Hunt's Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Sauce

2 Cans Petite Diced Tomtatoes, drained

2 Small Cans Tomato Paste

2 Teaspoons of Italian Seasoning

1/2 Teaspoon Oregano

1/2 Teaspoon Basil

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Brown the ground beef and sausage together in a large skillet on medium heat. Once browned drain any grease and add minced onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic. Cook an additional 3 minutes and add to crock pot.

Add remaining ingredients into crock pot and cook on high for 1 hour. Turn to low and cook an additional 4 hours. Stirring occasionally.

For the lasagna you'll need the following ingredients:

Rich meat sauce

1 Pound Lasagna Noodles

1 Container of Large Curd Cottage Cheese, drained

1 Egg

2/3 Cup Grated Parmesan

1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley

1 8 Ounce Package Sliced Mozzarella

1 8 Ounce Package of Shredded Mozzarella

While meat sauce is cooking put cottage cheese in a strainer over a bowl and let it drain for a few hours. Stirring gently ever so often.

Prepare lasagna noodles as directed on package. You only need 12 pieces for the recipe but i would suggest to make 15 just in case you have any break while cooking.

While noodles are cooking prep the cheese filling.

In a medium bowl beat egg. Add parmesan, dried parsley and drained cottage cheese. Stir well. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.
Once noodles are done start assembling lasagna in a 13x9 glass baking dish.

Add a layer of meat sauce. Add a layer of noodles, i use about 4 for each layer. Add a layer of half the cheese filling. Top with a layer of mozzarella slices, i use 6 for each layer. Add another layer of meat sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Top with mozzarella slices. Add meat sauce layer. Add the last layer of noodles. Add remaining cheese filling. Add another layer of meat sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella. All together you'll end up with 12 layers.

Cover dish with foil, spraying underside of foil with a non stick cooking spray, this is to ensure the cheese won't stick to the foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.

You can also assemble this the night before and refrigerate. If you do so, make sure you set out your dish long enough to reach room temperature before cooking.

Remove from oven. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Serve with garlic bread and a nice salad.

Now, on to the pictorial.

For the meat sauce.

Brown meats, drain grease and add onions

Add garlic

Add meat mix and remaining ingredients to crock pot

Finished rich meat sauce

For the lasagna assembly.

Drain cottage cheese

Cook pasta

Beat egg in medium size bowl

Combine with beaten egg, parmesan, parsley and drained cottage cheese

Stir well

Assembling layers

Start off with meat sauce

Add pasta

A layer of cheese mix

Add six slices of mozzarella

Add meat sauce

Add pasta and six slices of mozzarella

Add meat sauce, pasta and remaining cheese mix

Final layer of meat sauce

Top with shredded mozzarella

Cover well with foil

Finished lasagna



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