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Prickly Pear Cactus Margarita

Prickly Pear Margarita
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Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly Pear Cactus Margarita

Ingredients

Coarse salt as needed

2 fluid ounces tequila

2 fluid ounces sweet and sour mix

1 fluid ounce triple sec

1 fluid ounce lime juice

1 lime wedge for garnish

1 fluid ounce prickly pear syrup

Directions

Pour salt into a small plate. Wet the rim of a margarita glass and dip rim into salt.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; pour tequila, sweet and sour mix, triple sec, lime juice, and pear syrup over ice.

Cover shaker and shake drink; strain into prepared margarita glass.

Garnish with lime wedge

Posted in Prickly Pear Cactus Margarita Tagged with: ,

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecake
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Mini Cheesecake

Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Your favotite Cheesecake topping
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
  3. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Beat whipping cream with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; spread onto cheesecakes.
  6. Top with your favorite cheesecake topping.
Posted in Cheesecake, Mini Cheesecakes Tagged with: ,

Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings

Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings
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Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings

Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings

Ingredients

  • 4 large gala apples
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ⅓ Cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the egg and buttermilk. In a third dish, make your cinnamon-sugar topping by combining the ⅓ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Set that aside too.
  3. Next, slice the apples into ¼-inch thick slices, and use circle biscuit cutters in graduated sizes to make rings out of each slice. Discard the center circles containing the apple core.
  4. Pat the apple rings down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat to 350°F.
  6. Combine the contents of the first and second dishes as the oil warms up. This will be your batter.
  7. Dip the apple rings in and out of the batter one at a time, removing any dripping excess by tapping the rings against the side of the bowl.
  8. Fry the rings in small batches, turning them to ensure browning on both sides.
  9. Once the rings are golden and crispy, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel for a few seconds.
  10. Quickly transfer the apple rings, one by one, into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and coat evenly.

To keep crispy cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

Posted in Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs
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Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Mix the ground beef, rice, 1/2 cup water, onion, salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Roll the mixture into 12 meatballs.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the meatballs. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until evenly browned. Drain and discard any excess grease.
  3. Combine tomato sauce, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; pour over meatballs. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meatballs are no longer pink in the center and the rice is tender.
  4. Stir in more water is the sauce becomes too dry.
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew 3

This old-fashioned stew is from the days when all parts of the animal was used. This little-known cut of meat makes for an incredibly rich, tasty dish.

Oxtail Stew

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Oxtail Stew 3

Oxtail Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of oxtails.
  • 1 medium size onion – chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of parsley
  • 2 pounds red potatoes – quartered
  • 1 cup celery – sliced
  • 2 cups carrots – sliced

Directions

  1. Take a tablespoon of oil, and brown oxtails over medium-high heat, as brown as you can get them. About 10 minutes. They are kind of oddly shaped, so move them around so they brown on all sides.
  2. Remove the oxtails and set aside
  3. Add 1 chopped onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sauté the onions for about five minutes to get a little brown color on them and soften them up a little bit.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to make a quick roux to thicken this really rich, really delicious stock. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the flour for about three minutes.
  5. Add two cloves of minced garlic and give that a stir. Then 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, which will give it some color and some nice acidity. Then put the oxtails back into the pot.
  6. Add 1 quart of beef broth.
  7. Add 2 bay leaves
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  9. 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  10. Stir to mix ingredients completely
  11. Add a cup of water to bring up the level to the top of the oxtails.
  12. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 hours covered.
  13. In the meantime, we’re going to quarter 2 pounds of potatoes, and cut up 1 cup of celery and 2 cups of carrots.
  14. Five hours later, those oxtails are fork-tender. It really does take that long. They are really tough pieces of meat, but the tougher the meat, the better the flavor.
  15. We’re going to add our veggies in there, and we’re going to cook those potatoes, carrots and celery for about 30 minutes or until tender.
  16. Skim off the fat
  17. Add 1/4 cup of parsley which will give it some nice color and flavor.

Turn off heat and serve with your favorite crusty bread.

Posted in Oxtail Stew Tagged with: ,

Slow Cooked Scalloped Potatoes

SLOW COOKED SCALLOPED POTATOES
SLOW COOKED SCALLOPED POTATOES

Slow Cooked Scalloped Potatoes

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch thick (about 5 potatoes)
  • 6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper

Directions

  1. Rub the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker very lightly with the butter on the bottom and 2 inches up the sides.
  2. Whisk together the cream, broth, flour and thyme in a 2-cup measuring cup.
  3. Arrange 1/3 of the sliced potatoes in an even and slightly overlapping layer on the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Gruyere over the potatoes, and add 3/4 teaspoon salt and an even grating of black pepper. Drizzle 1/3 of the cream mixture evenly over the layer. Repeat with 2 more layers of potatoes, Gruyere, salt, pepper and cream mixture.
  4. Press the potatoes down firmly to make sure they are submerged. Cover the slow cooker, and cook on high until the potatoes are tender and the liquid has thickened, 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Remove the lid, and let the potatoes rest for 15 minutes. (The sauce may seem thin at first, but it will thicken as it sits.)

 

Posted in Slow Cooked Scalloped Potatoes Tagged with: , ,

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

pumpkin-cream-cheese-swirl-muffins

Here’s a great recipe we received from a friend of Recipes Squared that originally came from the Novice Chef Blog.  Check them out for other great recipes.

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INGREDIENTS:pumpkin-cream-cheese-swirl-muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar.
  4. Beat in eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  6. Top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter. This will not look smooth, but it will bake up much prettier. (You can see exactly how I did this in the video at the top of the page.)
  7. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 18 muffins

Posted in Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins Tagged with: ,

DRESSEL’S Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake

Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake

This is a delicious cake that we enjoyed as children.  The cake was very often used as a Birthday cake.  We received  this recipe from Jane Justic via Facebook.  The recipe was came from lostrecipesfound.com

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Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake

Dressel’s Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake

Ingredients

Fudge Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup toasted & ground mixed walnuts & pecans for sides of finished cake

Light Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients

  • 2 cups room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder

Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp agar
  • 3 cups Kilgus Farmstead or other non-homogenized heavy cream (closest approximation to what Dressel’s used)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two, 9-inch baking pans by greasing them and lining them with parchment paper circles. Also at this point: Set out the two cups of unsalted butter for your buttercream on your counter to bring it to room temperature (pliable, but not soft) for making your frosting later.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs 3 minutes until fluffy and creamy. Blend in oil and vanilla and beat two minutes more. Combine boiling water and cocoa powder, stir to dissolve, mix in soda and salt. Pour into batter and incorporate. Add flour and mix until blended and smooth. Pour into prepared pans and tap pans to release bubbles. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes until cake springs back when touched. Remove from oven; let rest in pans for five minutes. Turn onto racks. Let cakes cool completely.
  3. While cake is baking, make whipped cream. Place 1 cup water in saucepan with 1/2 tsp agar. Heat to boiling; boil 4 1/2 minutes. Let solution cool just until you can immerse your finger in it–still quite warm and liquid–this takes about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. While you’re waiting, combine 3 cups of cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Turn mixer to low speed. Before cream reaches soft peak stage, add 3 Tbsp. of the warm liquid agar/water solution to cream all at once (there should be at least 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of this solution left after boiling) and whip until consistency firms up. Note: The whipped cream will not be super firm–just firmer than typical whipped cream.
  4. Make your light chocolate buttercream. Whip two cups of room temperature unsalted butter with 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening and 4 cups powdered sugar at low speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy. Add two tsp vanilla. Whip again just to incorporate. Mix together 2 1/2 Tbsp. oil with 4 Tbsp. Dutch process cocoa powder. Whisk into buttercream until evenly distributed.

Assemble cake:

  1. Trim the “dome” off the top of each fudge layer to ensure each cake layer is exactly level and of the same thickness. (Note: if you are allergic to nuts, crumble the cut off dome into crumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast crumbs in the oven at 300 degrees until crispy. Crush these crumbs fine and reserve.)
  2. Place first fudge layer on a cake liner on a footed cake stand. Carefully pipe 1-inch of buttercream around the rim of the fudge layer, so you now have a standing lip of buttercream on the cake layer. Fill this with 1-inch tall whipped cream. Add several more spoons of whipped cream onto the center. Layer the second fudge layer of cake over the whipped cream layer. Using an offset spatula, carefully seal the outside edge of the cake (sealing whipped cream in) with buttercream, using a little more buttercream if needed.
  3. Frost top of cake with buttercream. Frost sides of cake with buttercream. Apply crushed nuts (toasted walnut and pecan) to sides of the cake. (Or, if allergic to nuts, apply the toasted cake crumbs to the sides of the cake.)
  4. Freeze the cake, which will ensure that the whipped cream layer and buttercream will firm up.

Set cake out 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before serving to soften.

Posted in DRESSEL’S CHOCOLATE FUDGE WHIPPED CREAM CAKE Tagged with:

APPLEBEE’S ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD

APPLEBEE'S ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD
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APPLEBEE'S ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD

APPLEBEE’S ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients

Asian Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ Cup Chinese rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons quality toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 2 to 4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 skinless chicken breast fillet
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 carrot, julienned or shredded
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup crispy chow Mein noodles

Directions

Asian Dressing

  1. Place all the dressing ingredients in a container with a lid and shake until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken

  1. Preheat oil in deep fryer or deep pan over medium heat. You want the temperature of the oil to be around 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small, shallow bowl beat egg, add buttermilk, and mix well.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour with corn flake crumbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Cut chicken breast into 4 or 5 long strips. Dip each strip of chicken first into egg mixture then into the flour mixture, coating each piece completely.
  5. Fry each chicken finger for 5 minutes or until coating has darkened to brown.

Salad

  1. Prepare salad by tossing the chopped romaine with the chopped red cabbage, Napa cabbage, and carrots.
  2. Sprinkle green onion on top of the lettuce.
  3. Toast almonds in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light brown.
  4. Sprinkle toasted almonds over the salad, then add the chow Mein noodles.
Posted in Applebee's Asian Chicken Salad Tagged with: , ,

No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake

No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake
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No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake

No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake

Ingredients

  • 19 oz. graham crackers
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (3.4 oz.) packages Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 2-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 12 oz. Cool whip (or homemade whipped cream)
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz. white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Beat cream cheese and dry pudding mixes in large bowl with mixer until blended.
  2. Gradually beat in milk.
  3. Gently stir in Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream, reserving ½ cup.
  4. Spread a thin layer of cool whip in a 9×13 pan just to coat the bottom.
  5. Layer 5 graham crackers across the center of the pan, then 2 more, breaking them as needed to fit around the top and bottom edges.
  6. Spread a layer of pudding mixture over grahams and top with a layer of blueberries and sliced strawberries.
  7. Place graham crackers on top of berries, then pudding mixture, then layer of berries again.
  8. Repeat the graham-pudding-berries layers 1 more time (3 times total) and you should reach the top of the pan.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until the graham crackers have softened completely.
  10. When ready to serve, melt white chocolate chips in a bowl as directed on package and drizzle over dessert.
  11. You can use a spoon to drizzle it over the tops of the berries or you can put it into a small zip-top bag and snip of the corner for an easy “piping bag.”
Posted in No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake Tagged with:

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