Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

I made this for Mother's Day and it was really good. Of course almost anything Paula Deen makes is good. So I thought I would share it.

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake
(makes 1 (9-inch) cake

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry flavored instant frozen
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cup water
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: sliced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes about 4 cups)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioner's sugar

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup strawberry puree, reserving remaining for another use. Beat in extract. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, beat until smooth.
Note: for pinker frosting, add 2 to 3 drops of red food coloring to frosting.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Baked Cavatelli




I found this in my "Better Homes and Garden Cookbook". This is one of my favorite recipes. It is super easy and my husband just loves it. It was a staple in our home during our first year of marriage!

Ingredients

2-1/3 cups dried cavatelli or wagon wheel macaroni (7 ounces)
12 ounces uncooked Italian sausage links, sliced 1/2 inch thick, or lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I usually put extra!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
2. In a large skillet cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until sausage is brown; remove from skillet. Drain.
3. In a large bowl stir together pasta sauce, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and the pepper. Add the cooked pasta and the drained sausage mixture. Stir gently to combine. Spoon the mixture into a 2-quart casserole.*
4. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until nearly heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
5. Makes 5 or 6 servings
6. *Note: For individual portions, spoon the mixture into 5 or 6 individual (8- to 10-ounce) casseroles. Place the casseroles on a large baking sheet. Cover casseroles with foil and bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until nearly heated through. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, and bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.