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February 2009
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March 2009

St. Patrick's Day Cocktails

Instead of green beer for St. Patty's Day, try one of these green Midori Melon Liqueur cocktails!


Midori Cosmo

Green-Cosmopolitan-230_000 

Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 3/4 oz Midori

  • 2 oz  citrus vodka

  • Splash of white cranberry juice

  • Berries or green fruit to garnish

Directions

  • Shake and strain into a chilled glass.
  • Add an optional curly lime peel garnish.

Midori Lagoon

Lagoon-270 

Ingredients

  • ½ part Midori

  • ¾ part classic golden rum

  • ½ part fresh orange juice

  • Curled lime peel to garnish

Instructions

  • Pour into a tall glass over ice


Midori Sour

Midori-sour 

Ingredients

  • 1 part Midori

  • 4 parts sour mix

  • Garnish with melon balls

Directions

  • Serve in a rocks glass over ice

(photos and recipes from thenibble.com)


Back to Basics

Planning a party?  Here are six questions from Martha Stewart to get started:

Msl_jul06_light_xl

1.What is the date?

2.How many guests will be there?

3.What is the location?

4.What type of party will it be?

5.What is your budget?

6.Is there going to be music or entertainment?

Once you've answered these basic questions, you can begin elaborating on them.  The slide show has several tips on each of these topics, like when to send invitations, how to set up your space, etc.


Yummy!

My friend Kelly tried a new (to us) cupcake recipe and I just have to share it with you!  They were so delicious!  They remind me of carrot cake without all the "spice".  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes (Center Cupcake)

Exps36299_CW1113250D32 

Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (1 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp cinnamon)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend 1 1/2 to 2 min­utes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 full. (You will get between 20 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans side by side in the oven.
3. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 22 min­utes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners. Lift the cup­cakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your finger­tips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for
15 minutes before frosting.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.
5. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with a short metal spatula or a spoon, taking care to cover the tops completely. Sprinkle the frosting with the cinnamon­ sugar mixture. Place these cupcakes, uncovered or in a cake saver, in the refrig­erator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. The cupcakes are ready to serve.

Store the cupcakes in a cake saver or under a glass dome at room temperature
for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 3 cups


1 package (8 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the con­fectioners' sugar, a little at a time, blend­ing with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, then increase the mixer speed to medium and blend the frost­ing until fluffy, 1 minute more.

(photo from tasteofhome.com)