My favorite family recipes

Toasted Coconut Cake with Coconut Filling and Coconut Buttercream Recipe February 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 11:18 am
I was watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network the other day.  They had a coconut cake challenge, which made me super hungry for coconut cake.  I found Bobby Flay’s recipe for the coconut cake that he made on the show.  I haven’t made it yet, but plan on making it for my dad’s birthday in March.  If anyone makes it before me, let me know how it turns out!  It looks like a lot of work but I think it’ll be worth it!!
Toasted Coconut:
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
Coconut Simple Syrup:
1 1/2 c. water
1 T. granulated sugar
3/4 c. sweetened flaked coconut
Coconut Custard
3/4 c. whole  milk
3/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
4 large egg yolks
1/3 c. granulated sugar
3 T. cornstarch
2 tsp. coconut rum
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Coconut Filling:
3/4 c. coconut custard (recipe above), cold
3/4 c. very cold heavy cream
Coconut Buttercream:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. confectioners’ sugar
3/4 c. coconut custard (recipe above), cold
Pinch fine sea salt
2 T. softened butter, for pans
2 1/4 c. cake flour, plus more for pans
1 c. whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 T. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine sea salt
12 T. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, slightly cold


For the toasted coconut:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, 8 to 10 minutes.
Turn the oven off and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, about 15 minutes longer.
For the simple syrup:
Bring water and sugar to a boil.
Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
For the custard:
Combine the milks and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
 Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.
Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract.
Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
For the filling:
Combine the custard and cream in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.
For the buttercream:
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the coconut custard and salt and beat until combined and smooth.
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour 2 (9 by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.
With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more.
Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer.
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pan and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 22 to 24 minutes.
Cool in the pan on baking rack for 10 minutes.
Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
To Assemble:
Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers.
Reserve 1 of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake.
Place another layer on a cardboard round cut side up and brush with some of the coconut simple syrup.
Spoon 1/3 of the coconut filling onto the cake and using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake.
Repeat with 2 more layers.
Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with the remaining syrup.
Place the layer cut side down on top of the cake.
Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream.
Pat the coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top of the cake.

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 10:25 am

I made this for dinner last night and we loooved it!

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. white vinegar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dash red pepper flakes or ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves, skin removed
  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained

Wash the chicken breasts and place in slow cooker. (I cut the chicken into strips- which reduces the cooking time)

Combine melted butter, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, salt and pepper, hot pepper and chicken broth; pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours or until chicken is tender but still moist.

Add pineapple and cook for 20 minutes longer.

Serve over rice.  Serves 6.


Buttercream Frosting February 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 8:14 pm

Buttercream Frosting

2-lb. bag powdered sugar

3/4 c. Crisco

1 tsp. almond flavoring or white vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

2 drops of butter flavor

1/2 c. milk (plus more as you go)

Cream together the powdered sugar, Crisco, almond flavoring, salt, cream of tartar, butter flavoring, and milk.  Mix well.

Today Ryan and his co-workers had a bake sale to raise money for the local SPCA.  So before class yesterday I made chocolate cupcakes.  After I got back from class last night, I decided to try a new frosting recipe that I found on the internet.  For some reason, the frosting didn’t turn out like it looked in the pictures.  It slid all over the cupcakes and down the sides.  Eww.  I guess I shouldn’t have trusted a recipe that had less than 5 ingredients (vanilla, sugar, flour, milk).   After that batch of frosting was a no-go, I decided to go with my mom’s recipe for buttercream frosting (on page 130 in Cable Cookbook).  My mom and Aunt Deb made my wedding cake and used this recipe for the frosting. The cake looked and tasted amazing!






Pizza Dough February 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 4:14 pm

All-Purpose Pizza Dough

5 c. unbleached bread flour

1 T. sugar (or honey)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. instant yeast

2 T. olive oil

1 3/4 c. (plus 1 T.) water, room temperature

Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil

1. Fit an electric mixture with a dough hook (or use a large spoon & bowl).  Combine all ingredients into bowl except cooking spray.  Mix on slow speed for about 3 minutes, until ingredients are combined and flour is wet. 

2. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for an additional 2 minutes.  If dough seems very stiff, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.  Dough should be tacky but not sticky.

3. Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.  Form dough into smooth ball and place in bowl, turning to coat the surface with oil.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap but do not let wrap touch dough.  Let dough stand at room temperature 30, then refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days.

4. Two hours before you plan to make the pizzas, mist a baking sheet or cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly rub with olive oil.  Cut dough into 4 equal pieces, and form each piece into a smooth, round ball.  Place dough balls on prepared pans, mist lightly with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.

5. While dough proofs and comes to room temperature, prepare toppings and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

6.  Shape dough into 12-inch round circles.  Place on lightly greased pizza pan.  Add toppings.  Cook until crusts starts to brown and toppings are heated through.

Ryan loves cheese pizza!  I like pizza with alfredo sauce, fried chicken breast cubes, and mozzarella cheese.


Black Forest Cake

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 3:35 pm

A few weeks ago Ryan and his co-workers decided to have a pot-luck lunch.  So, Ryan signed up to bring a dessert (because baking is my favorite and he knew that I would be the one making the dish for him to take).  I looked through the Cable Cookbook and gave Ryan a few options of what I would bake for him to take.  He decided that the Black Forest Cake sounded very good.  When I was making the cake, it made me think of the first time that I ever tried the cake.  When I was in high school, my youth group threw a Chinese Auction and asked our church members to donate items for it.  Barb Engstrom baked this cake to be auctioned off.  If you know my mom, you know how much she loves her sweets… so, of course, she bid on the cake and won it!  My family loved this cake!  Not only is it delicious but it looks amazing!  Thank you Barb for this awesome recipe!  You can find this recipe on page 112 in the Cable Cookbook.

Black Forest Cake

2 c. flour

2 c. sugar

1/2 c. Hershey’s cocoa

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. oil

1 T. white vinegar

3 lg. eggs

1 1/2 c. hot water

1 can cherry pie filling

Mix all ingredients (with exception of the pie filling) well.  Batter will be thin.  Grease and flour 2 (8-inch) cake pans well.  Pour batter in cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  Let cool a while then remove from pans.  Put cherry pie filling between layers.  Be careful not to use too much of the juice.  Frost with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting.  Add a few extra cherries and chocolate shavings to garnish.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 c. butter

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

5 T. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. melted chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla together.  Add chocolate.  Mix well.  Add just enough more confectioners’ sugar to stiffen icing to spread.


5 Minute Microwavable Brownies February 8, 2012

Filed under: brownies — cablefamilycooks @ 1:18 am

Need a quick chocolate fix?  You can prep and cook these brownies in under 10 minutes…

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. cocoa


Cream sugar and butter together.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Stir flour and cocoa together, add to egg mixture.  Grease a GLASS pie pan and then coat with sugar.  Pour brownie mixture into the pie pan.  Cook in microwave for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes.  Let sit until cool.  I sprinkle powdered sugar on top =)



Bruschetta with Peppers & Mozzarella February 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 7:18 pm

My cousin Jamie came to visit Ryan and I in Buffalo this weekend.  Jamie and I decided to watch Julie & Julia while making a recipe from the movie.  None of us like tomatoes, so we decided to find a recipe for bruschetta that had peppers instead.  We found this recipe on and tweaked it a little bit.  It was so easy to make and we loved it so much that we made it twice this weekend.  Come on, who doesn’t love peppers and onions fried in butter?

3-4 T. butter

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped finely

1/2 orange pepper, chopped finely

1/2 small onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 T. dried parsley

1 T. dried basil leaves

Pinch of salt

1 loave wheat French bread

Olive oil

2 c. Mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add peppers and onions.  Cook until soft (12-15 minutes).

Sprinkle with sugar, parsley, basil leaves, salt.  Cook 2 more minutes.  Set aside.

Slice bread crosswise into 16-18 thin round slices.  Brush bread with olive oil on one side.

Place bread on a baking sheet, oil side down.  Toast in oven until lightly browned (7-10 minutes).

Flip bread so that oil side is up.  Sprinkle cheese on toast.  Top each toast round with a spoonful of pepper/onion mixture.

Toast again 1-2 minutes (until cheese has melted).  Serve immediately.