Cooking for Beginners: Quick & Easy Cake Recipes Part III

Wales has been the source of many simple cake recipes and these recipes for chocolate and a miner’s favorite, Tiesen Lap, are no exception. They are produced by rubbing the fat and the flour together (Method 2).

Easy Chocolate Cake (Method 2)

This is a simple traditional Welsh recipe for a classic chocolate cake made with cocoa powder rather than pieces of chocolate.

  • 3½ cups / 1lb / 450g of flour
  • 2 tsp (1/3oz / 10g) of baking soda
  • 1 cup + 1½ tbsp / 9oz / 275ml milk
  • 1 cup / 8oz / 225g caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp / 4oz / 110g lard
  • 3½ tbsp / 2oz / 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (170°C).

Thoroughly sift together the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder, then cut the fat into small cubes and add it to the flour mixture.

Combine the fat and the flour by rubbing them together between your fingers (you can also use two forks or a pastry blender for this but using your finger gives you a greater sense of involvement and greater satisfaction).

Add the sugar and mix well before adding the milk and egg. Combine thoroughly to form a batter then mix in the vanilla extract.

Transfer the batter to a single well-greased 8” (20cm) round cake tin and bake it in the oven for about 90 minutes at 350°F (170°C).

When ready turn the cake out to cool on a wire rack.

Once cool, the cake can be decorated, if desired, with chocolate frosting over the top and sides. The cake can also be split horizontally into layers and sandwiched together again with chocolate frosting.

Notes

Butter, margarine or shortening can be substituted for the lard. The above is the original Welsh recipe using inexpensive ingredients at the time.

A similar ‘rubbing in’ technique is used to produce crumble topping for pies and puddings.

Easy Recipes for College Students

Finding inexpensive and easy meals is a big challenge for many college students; fortunately, there are a number of healthy and cheap types of food that any student can easily make. Maintaining a healthy diet in college is one of the best things any student can do for herself, and it can help students avoid the dreaded “freshman fifteen” as well as teaching them how to cook simple meals.

Cooking Tools for College Students

Every student needs a few basic cooking tools to make it through the year. Having cooking supplies on hand will make meal preparation and clean up easier and neater. Every student should have his own frying pan and pots for boiling water, a set of cooking knives, a cutting board, a grater, spatulas and a strainer.

An easy going-away gift for any college student is a cookbook with a gift card to a grocery store inside. That will provide students with a way to experiment with cooking and the money to purchase the food they need for various recipes. Learning to cook is an easy but essential life skill for any student.

Easy Hash Brown Recipe

Cooking hash browns is a great way to serve up a meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hash browns make a healthy and delicious side dish to a larger meal, or they can become a meal themselves. Students can cook hash browns in fifteen to twenty minutes, which means they are a perfect meal to make in the morning before class.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white flour
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  1. Wash, peel and grate the potatoes. Use a grater with large blades to create bigger sections for the hash browns. Squeeze the excess moisture from the potatoes so that they fry evenly. Dice a small amount of onion and garlic, to taste. Mix the egg, potatoes, flour, garlic and onion in a bowl. Add herbs like rosemary or basil for extra flavor.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, spoon sections of the potato mixture into the oil. Spread the section out so that it forms a flat pancake shape. Allow it to fry until it turns golden brown and flip it over. Repeat with the other side.

Pan Fried Potato Recipe

Potatoes are an easy food for college students to cook, and they are also inexpensive. For college students on a budget, potatoes and other vegetables are an indispensable addition to any kitchen. Making pan friend potatoes is healthier than eating fast food French fries, and it’s cheaper, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Green, red and yellow bell peppers
  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into ¼ inch thick sections. Wash the remaining vegetables and dice them into small sections. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the vegetables to the frying pan and cover it with a lid. Stir occasionally. Allow the vegetables to sit until the potatoes are soft.
  2. Remove the lid from the frying pan and turn up the heat. Fry the vegetables until the potatoes are golden-brown. Add salt and herbs to taste. Serve hot.

Cooking is an easy but important part of any student’s day. Avoiding the expensive and unhealthy fast food present on a college campus can save students a great deal of money and ensure that they eat healthy, balanced meals. Pair simple recipes with other healthy food like salads, soups and spaghetti.

Pizzas Are Not Meant to Be Cheesy! Here’s a Low Fat Pizza Recipe for Your Weight Loss Journey

If you’re looking for a quick pizza dough recipe, this is it. And it’s really one of the best pizza crust recipes you’ll ever make because it tastes just like pizza you’d find in a pizzeria.

The secret is a method borrowed from a recent issue of Cooking Light magazine: You preheat the cookie sheet in the oven, just as you would a pizza stone. Then pre-bake the pizza crust a a few minutes. The results are exceptional.

Even better: You don’t even need a pizza stone or pizza peel to make this pizza crust recipe. Just a regular cookie sheet and your oven. A silicone cutting mat is helpful, too, but not necessary.

If, however, you are interested in buying a pizza stone or pizza pan, I recommend the Mario Batali pizza pan. It won’t crack like the stones, and you can use it for numerous other things, from roasting vegetables to making french toast.

Pizza Dough Recipe

(Makes enough for 2 pizzas)

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • cornmeal

Place water, 2 tsp. olive oil, flours, salt, cheese and yeast in bread machine according to manufacturer’s directions. Select dough cycle. When cycle is complete, place an empty rimless cookie sheet in oven and preheat to 475 degrees F.

Turn dough out on a separate rimless cookie sheet or silicone cutting mat, dusted with cornmeal. Knead dough a few times. Divide in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Roll other half of dough into a 14-inch circle (or square — the shape doesn’t really matter). Brush with remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Slide dough onto cookie sheet in oven and bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and continue with your favorite recipe for homemade pizza.

How to Bake Chicken Fingers To Lose Weight

How many times have you had finger-licking baked chicken at a fast-food joint and wished you could have it easily at home? Wouldn’t it be awesome to make baked chicken at home that is not only tasty but super healthy and easy as well?

Well worry no more because this baked chicken delivers it all oodles of flavor in the shortest of time with the simplest ingredients and a no-brainer recipe. What’s more, this baked chicken recipe is so delightful, you can even present it over lunch or dinner parties and get smiles all around. So why wait when we can be laughing in a matter of minutes?

This gorgeous crispy baked chicken recipe needs only a few simple things.

Baked chicken fingers ingredients

  • Chicken breast – 2, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • Garlic, finely chopped – 1 tbsp (alternatively, you can use 1 tsp dried garlic powder)
  • Buttermilk – 1 pot (If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 cup youghurt with 2 tbsp lemon juice and set aside for 15 – 20 minutes)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Cornflakes – for coating

You will also need a grilling sheet or cookie cooling rack for baking the chicken fingers.

Baked chicken recipe

  1. In a large bowl, put the buttermilk, chopped garlic, salt and a generous twist of pepper and mix well. Add in the chicken breast strips and mix so that the chicken is coated through. Set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Crush 2 to 3 cups of cornflakes to a fine crumble and take out on a wide open platter. (A plastic bag and a rolling pin work wonders!)
  3. Preheat the oven to 175 – 180 degrees (moderately hot).
  4. Put the marinated chicken in a collander to drain the excess marinade. Roll each chicken strip in the cornflakes crumble and place on the cookie rack.
  5. Place the cookie rack on the middle oven shelf and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Check that the baked chicken is done by breaking a chicken finger in the middle; the meat should have turned white.
  7. Serve the baked chicken fingers hot with a delicious dipping sauce, especially a Honey Mustard Sauce.

Notes

  • Do not cover the baked chicken fingers or they will turn soggy.
  • You can brush the cookie rack with a bit of oil before baking, but it’s not necessary.
  • You can marinate and roll the baked chicken fingers in the cornflake crumble and refrigerate them in advance. They keep very well in the fridge and you can bake them just before your guests arrive. Enjoy!

Grilled Watermelon Salad: A Grilled Fruit Salad That Goes With Any Weight Loss Mea

There is nothing like grilling to bring out the sweetness of fruit. And in this recipe, grilled watermelon is the star. Sprinkling the watermelon with just a bit of kosher salt enhances the flavor of the fruit and helps the watermelon caramelize when grilled.

The addition of mint to this watermelon and feta salad gives this recipe a hint of coolness that perfectly balances the juicy sweetness of the watermelon and the salty creaminess of the feta cheese.

This watermelon salad is not only light and refreshing, it is quite healthy, too. Packed with protein, fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C, this watermelon feta salad is a great addition to just about any meal.

And this grilled watermelon salad makes a great take-along dish to a Father’s Day or 4th of July party, or virtually any summer occasion. Serve this salad with anything from barbecued chicken to citrus baked tilapia for a light and easy summer dinner. Throw some oven fried zucchini or baked sweet potato fries on the side and serve strawberry fruit pizza for dessert, and you’ve got an elegant and healthy meal everyone will love!

Grilled Watermelon Salad

  • 6 slices seedless watermelon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 cups romaine or bibb lettuce (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Prepare grill or heat a cast iron grill pan over medium heat. Sprinkle kosher salt over watermelon slices. Place watermelon on grill in a single layer (you will have to do this in batches if you’re using an indoor grill pan). Cook 2 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and allow watermelon to cool, 5 minutes. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Place the lettuce in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Top with watermelon pieces, fresh chopped mint, then the feta cheese. Pour the lemon juice over the salad and toss lightly. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Per serving (based on 6): 142 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein, 104% vitamin A, 75% vitamin C, 14% calcium, 12% iron

Carrot Cake Smoothies: Healthy Smoothies That Helps to Lose Weight!

One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is learn how to make smoothies. They’re tasty, nutritious and a wonderfully refreshing way to start your day.

The best way to make smoothies is with a top-quality blender, like a Vita Mix Blender. This is what the smoothie chains use, and it works better than any other blender on the market for turning frozen fruits and vegetables into delicious and healthy frozen drinks.

But the Vita-Mix Blenders are pretty pricey. If you don’t want to spend the money, go for a Hamilton Beach blender with an ice-crusher feature. The Hamilton Beach blenders are inexpensive, and they do the job better than any other blender or smoothie maker on the market.

This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste. Vanilla bean paste is like a thick vanilla extract with tiny little vanilla bean seeds in it. It’s a wonderfully convenient (not to mention cheaper) way to add pure vanilla flavoring to recipes, without having to scrape the vanilla beans yourself. However, vanilla bean paste can be hard to find. Trader Joe’s sells it. If you can’t find it, just use pure vanilla extract instead.

Of course, you can serve these carrot cake smoothies for dessert. But the good news is they are nutritious enough to serve for breakfast, too. Indeed, these smoothies have a whopping 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and 324% of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A in each serving. So go ahead, make one today!

Carrot Cake Smoothies

  • 3 cups peeled and sliced carrots — not baby carrots*
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup angel flaked coconut (sweetened coconut)
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • cinnamon for garnish

Place sliced carrots and water in a microwave-safe container. Heat on high 4 to 8 minutes, until carrots are soft enough to mash. Mash and place in a VitaMix blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients, except for cinnamon, and puree until well blended. Garnish with cinnamon.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 240 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 45 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 8 g protein, 324% vitamin A, 38% vitamin C, 24% calcium, 5% iron

*Regular carrots work best in this recipe, because they have more moisture than the pre-peeled baby carrots.

Low Fat Chocolate Pecan Wafers: Made with olive oil, the Julie Van Rosendaal way!

These Chocolate, Pecan and Olive Oil Wafers, created especially by Julie Van Rosendaal for her parents sound undeniably phenomenal. This cookie monster however, is going to have to bake these wafers up once Lent is over!.

Until then, here’s what Julie Van Rosendaal, the author behind “One Smart Cookie,” and the low-fat baking maven has to say about her Chocolate, Pecan & Olive Oil Wafers, “I came up with these for my dad, who is watching his saturated fat intake, and my mom, who is diabetic, for Christmas one year. They are very low in sugar, partly because the sugar is sprinkled on top, where its flavor and crunch are at the forefront, but particularly if you don’t sprinkle them with sugar at all. Because all the fat comes from the pecans and olive oil, these are particularly heart-healthy.” Appropriately enough, eat your heart out!

To learn more about Julie, her book, her successful battle to shed 165 pounds by reducing the fat in the food she loves and to get a better idea of her mouth-watering recipes, click here. And if you get hooked, it’s alright. These are cookies and treats you don’t have to feel too guilty about at all!

Chocolate, Pecan & Olive Oil Wafers Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3-4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup olive or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1 large egg white
  • Extra sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, pecans, cocoa, sugar, flax-seed, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the oil and water with a fork. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  2. Take walnut-sized pieces of dough and place between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper; roll back and forth in one direction with a rolling pin into large, thin ovals that look like a smear. Transfer to a cookie sheet and peel off the top sheet of paper; alternatively you could place the balls of dough directly on the sheet, cover them with a piece of parchment and roll them out, then peel off the parchment.
  3. Stir the egg white with a fork and brush the cookies with it, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden around the edges (it will be tough to tell!) and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 18 large cookies.

Per cookie: 119 calories, 8.2 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 5.7 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 10.7 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.2 g fiber. 60% calories from fat