When we moved into our new neighborhood, friends of ours from Alaska invited us over for dinner. I only had the afternoon to prep a hostess present, and I thought a bundt cake would be a perfect treat, and it really was.
Now don’t get scared with the word “sour cream” in the title. I personally am not a fan of sour cream, but the joy of this recipe is that the sour cream is used only for moisture, not taste (at all, seriously!). Apparently the whole idea of sour cream pound cake comes from the south (oh Paula Deen), so it felt appropriate that this was my first homemade treat in our new house!
This was my first pound cake and not my last. This cake comes together easily (as most baking does) as long as you follow the directions while mixing up your batter. My cake is a little brown on the outside thanks to 3 minutes too long in the oven, the timing below reflects the correct time (not the one where the timer goes off and you are in the shower and don’t hear it for 3 extra minutes).
I hope you can go impress some of your neighbors with one of these beauties some time soon!
Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Pound Cake
Makes 1 cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips (more if you wish)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a rounded bundt pan or a 10-inch tube pan.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy, around 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla (1/2 cup flour then 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sour cream, etc.).
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour the mix into your pan and tap the bottom of the pan on the counter top to even out the mixture.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Start looking at around 50 minutes since all ovens are a little different.)
- Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
This was dinner last night and I couldn’t wait another day to share it with you. It was so easy, so delicious and a new twist on the “bowl” dinners Q and I like so much. It has a fresh Asian feel to it and we really enjoyed it. This is my only photo seeing as I didn’t know quite HOW delicious it was truly going to be! Enjoy!
Orange Sesame Chicken Bowls
The key to this recipe is to cook your chicken and roast your broccoli at the same time to expedite the process! Also these bowls can be served warm or cold, I did both and loved it!
- 3 uncooked chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (you can also used cooked)
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 heads of uncooked broccoli
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 3 carrots, peeled or shredded (approximately 1 cup)
- 4 green onions, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Salt and pepper
(This is my easy baked chicken recipe):
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pyrex with Pam and lay each chicken breast in the pan.
- Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on each breast.With tongs, flip the breasts over and do the same to the other side.
- Place the pyrex in oven until each breast reaches 165 degrees in their meatest parts, usually 18-20 minutes. If some of the chicken are cooking quicker than the others, just take them out sooner and set aside.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from oven, let sit for 2-3 minutes (so juices soak in) and then dice into small squares and set aside.
For your broccoli (or any other veggies you want to add in!):
- While chicken is cooking, prep your broccoli by cutting it into even sized pieces.
- Spread a piece of aluminum foil across a baking sheet and spread veggies evenly across it.
- Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the veggies and add a pinch salt and pepper. Mix the veggies with your hands to make sure they are evenly coated.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until very crispy. This should be perfect timing with your chicken. Remove and set aside.
For your bowls:
- Combine the brown rice, chicken, shredded carrot, broccoli, green onions, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.
For your dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined. Top your chicken and brown rice mix with the dressing, adding a little at a time until desired amount is reached (sometimes it is half and sometimes it is all of it!). Mix well and serve cold or warm.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
This is one of my “Oh my gosh it’s 5PM and I don’t know what to make for dinner” meals. It’s simple, easy and from start to finish takes about 20 minutes. I usually keep some shrimp in the freezer for moments like this, but if you have the chance to grab them fresh, even better. My mom cooks with shells on, I’m a shells off gal (Q prefers the mess-free kind of shrimp), but either one works. The nice part about this recipe is that it is a one pot wonder. You cook the orzo, then add the shrimp to the same pot, easy peezy!
This recipe makes enough for about 6 portions, so Q and I have it for dinner, and then usually lunch for the next two days. The only thing I do is add the avocado each day, so for dinner I add it directly to our plates and do the same for lunch, otherwise it tends to get a little mushy and brown. Feel free to add/remove anything you like to the mix! I’m an artichoke gal, so I load them up. I think olives would work, or eating it alongside some hummus and pita!
Greek Shrimp and Orzo Salad
Makes 6 servings
- 8 ounces dried orzo pasta (about half a box, eyeballing works)
- 1 1/4 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- 1 cup peeled and roughly chopped cucumber
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill (a few pinches work for us)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Fill a large pot with water and a pinch or two of salt and bring to a boil.
- Cook the orzo according to package directions until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- At 8 minutes, add the shrimp to the boiling water to allow it to cook with the pasta for about 2 minutes or until all the shrimp are curled and pink.
- When the shrimp and orzo are cooked, drain thoroughly and return to the cooking pot.
- Drizzle the pasta and shrimp with the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, parsley and dill to the pot and stir to combine.
- Season with the salt and pepper. Add the feta.
- Serve either warm or cold (if cold, pop it into the fridge for a few hours).
Adapted from Chefmom
I had to post ONE soup recipe more before we moved out of Alaska right? And I wanted to share our inaugural slow cooker meal! A slow cooker is every new couple’s dream machine. I love that you just toss all your ingredients in the pot in the morning and when you come home from work you suddenly have dinner!
I think the best part of the slow cooker is that you can’t really go wrong when cooking with it. If you don’t have specific ingredients, you can usually substitute or omit without problem and come up with an even better recipe! I am also a big fan of just tossing in whatever veggies we have on hand, in this case I added some carrots and celery I had. And then I realized I had some pasta that was just sitting around, so I added that in too!
This recipe is pretty thick since it is filled with so many fun ingredients, but it can be made thicker or thinner depending on your preference! For a more stew like recipe, use less chicken broth. For a more soup like recipe, use more broth (pretty basic stuff right?). When you are adding more ingredients, you generally want to add a little more broth to offset it, but again up to you. You can also usually eyeball your liquids when you are adding everything to the pot. There is really no right and wrong with the slow cooker!
Slow Cooker Sausage and Kale Soup
- 5 links uncooked sausage of your choosing (we used Spicy Chicken), sliced into 1″ pieces
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup diced peeled carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bunch kale leaves, sliced with stalk removed
- 1/2 cup uncooked pasta, any shape (we had some macaroni on hand)
- freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- To cook the sausage (disregard if you have pre-cooked), heat a nonstick pan on medium heat. Once hot, add sausage pieces and cook until cooked through and browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In your slow cooker, add the sausage, tomatoes with juice, cannellini beans, carrots, celery, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and chicken stock. Stir gently. Turn on the slow cooker and let cook for 2.5 hours on high or 5 hours on low.
- After 2.5 hours on high (or 5 hours on low), add the kale and uncooked pasta and stir gently into the soup. Continue cooking soup for 45 minutes on high (or 1.5 hours on low).
- Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.