Recipes Feed

30th Birthday Celebration Part II

Please welcome my good friend Nicole who is doing a guest post for us today on her beautiful birthday cupcakes!  Thank you so much Nicole for sharing this with us.  Not only did they go perfectly with the decor, they were delicious!


Hostess Jo has graciously allowed me to blog about  the cupcakes I made for the 30th Birthday

Celebration. Thank you Jo!

I began by looking at cupcake recipes that didn’t have raw eggs in the icing.  I was a little wary of exposing so many people  to possibly contaminated raw eggs. I found the Sweet Revenge Pure Vanilla Cupcakes  recipe on  I followed the recipe to the letter and they were a hit!  I bought the Mexican vanilla from On this website is a video of these cupcakes being made by Marlo Scott from Sweet Revenge. She has my dream job, a cupcake bar!

I loved the look of the parchment paper, but did not have the time to make each one. has baking cups that look the same in various colors.  I bought the white ones to match Jo’s décor and these white wavy candles that reminded me of the branches. I received everything I ordered from Fancy Flours very quickly and it was all wrapped very neatly in the cutest paper! I will definitely order from them in the future.

The next thing I wanted to do was the cupcake flags. These cupcake flags were my inspiration. I have Adobe Illustrator, but I am sure there are other programs you could use to create your own. At there is a tutorial that explains how to use .pdf label templates in Illustrator. I used this guide to create the flags, then printed them on stock paper. Included on the flags was “Happy 30th Birthday” on one side and on the other side the

names of our birthday peeps and an Aries sign. They are time consuming at first, but once you create the flags it will be a breeze to do it next time. My husband helped with cutting and gluing the flags on the toothpicks. I could not find any clear crystal beads  (they were out at Michael’s!) so I will definitely do that next time. Even without the crystals the flags turned out great!

Thanks again Jo for allowing me to guest blog! The décor was awesome, the cupcakes were yummy, and the party was soooo much fun. Happy Birthday again to our friends!

Thanks again Nicole!  Your post is as fabulous as your cupcakes!

Sweets Overload

I've been posting about all things sweet for a few days now but there are just so many cute ideas for Spring out there!  I'm not even a big fan of sweets (or baking, but I love when other people do!) but you can really express your creative side with them.  Here is another one I am obsessed with for my Green Apple Themed Shower.  I'm hoping my friend Nicole is going to make them!


At first they intimidated me but then I read how Kara decorated them and I was surprised how easy they are.  She made her cupcakes then rolled them in green sprinkles, stuck in a pretzel with mint leaves for the stem and then took the "bite" out with a fork and added a few chocolate sprinkles.  Voila!

(photo from

Peep Show

Check out these adorable Peeps cupcakes from Fancy Flours!

Easter Peeps Cupcakes


You will need:
• Assorted Solid Colored Muffin Cups
• Assorted Colors of store bought peeps (at your local grocer)
• Cupcake recipe of your choice
• Icing or frosting recipe of your choice

• Make cupcake recipe. Bake and cool as directed in colored muffin cups. Frost as desired.
• Place all of the cupcake on a tray (or wherever they will be stored) Adhere a peep to the corresponding color of muffin cup by slightly sticking it into the frosting to hold it in place.
• Store in an airtight container. 

So Cute

Welcome Spring with the cake of your choice decorated with these pretty colorful flowers!  It's easy to do and your kids will have fun helping you make the flowers and leaves.

This would also be great for a wedding shower or baby shower.

Gumdrop Cake 


You'll need:

Shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Spice drops

Mini M&Ms

1.Place coconut in a ziplock bag; add a few drops of food coloring. Seal bag; mix until coconut is tinted. Pat coconut on sides of cake and sprinkle on top.

2.Make flowers: Dust a counter top with sugar (to prevent sticking), then use a small rolling pin to flatten spice drops one at a time. Use small cookie cutters to cut out flower shapes. Pipe a drop of frosting in the center of each flower and attach a mini M&M.

3. Make leaves: Cut rolled-out green spice drops into teardrop shapes, score veins down centers with a paring knife and pinch one end of each to create leaf shape.

4.For stems, tint frosting green, put into ziplock bag, snip off a corner and pipe lines

(photo from

It's Strawberry Season!

Here in the South strawberries are coming into season and there are so many delicious strawberry recipes out there!  Here is one I saw this morning on our local news.  It is gorgeous!

Strawberry Pie



  1. 1 recipe Old-Fashioned Pie Dough (or store bought)
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  4. 1 cup boiling water
  5. 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin
  8. 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line bottom and sides of prepared pie shell with parchment paper. Place pie weights on parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper.
  4. Bake until golden, approximately 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before adding filling.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, whisking well. Add boiling water and extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, whisking often. Remove from heat. Add gelatin, stirring until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  6. Arrange strawberries in baked pie shell. Pour cooled filling over strawberries, coating completely. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Here are some tips for buying and storing strawberries:

When buying strawberries:

Look for firm, plump, glossy berries that are free of mold.

Strawberries should be deep red in color with bright green leaves.

Check the bottom of the container for stains or moisture—these are signs of possible spoilage.

Strawberries won't ripen any further after they're picked, so avoid yellow or green berries.

When you get your purchase home:

Sort through the container and throw away any strawberries that are moldy or damaged so they won't have an opportunity to contaminate the others.

Store strawberries in the original container or place them in a plastic bag.

It's best to eat fresh strawberries the day you buy them, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

One important thing to remember: Strawberries are perishable, so don't wash them until you're ready to eat them. Gently wash whole berries under cold, running water and pat them dry. Then remove the leafy green top, known as the calyx, with a paring knife or a strawberry huller. For the best flavor, let the strawberries come to room temperature before you eat them.

To freeze strawberries:

Arrange whole berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. (We recommend that you wait to wash and hull the strawberries until after they have thawed.) Once the berries have frozen, transfer them to a heavy freezer bag and return them to the freezer. They should keep for up to a year.

(photo and recipe from Taste of the South)

Good Morning Grits

I'm always looking for new breakfast casserole recipes.  They are so easy and tasty and great for serving a crowd.  It's getting to be that time of year where brunch is served frequently.  Easter, wedding and baby showers to name a few.  I don't think I'm going to wait for a special occasion to make this casserole! 

Good Morning Grits


1 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup  chopped onion
1 cup quick-cooking grits, cooked as directed on package
1-1/4 cups  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
2   eggs, lightly beaten

COOK and stir green pepper and onion in nonstick skillet for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Place in medium bowl. Add cooked grits, 3/4 cup of the cheese and salt; stir until well blended. Add eggs; mix well.

POUR into greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

BAKE at 350°F for 30 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

(photo and recipe from


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)


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



Please tell me you are as big a fan as me of the Real Housewives TV shows?!  My favorite is Orange County, but unfortunately its season just ended.  My next favorite is New York.  And my favorite lady on the show is Bethenny Frankel


On its premiere episode I saw Bethenny's Skinny Girl cocktails featured.  You may have heard of the Skinny Girl Margarita.  So I started exploring.  Turns out she has a book coming out called Naturally Thin on March 10.  She is a health food chef and I am so glad she wrote a book.  She has an awesome figure so I will be buying the book. 

More importantly, due out later is a book of Skinny Girl cocktail recipes!  I love my cocktails and would love them even more if they didn't pack on the pounds.  A date has not been released yet.  Until the book comes out I found that she has several recipes on  Here is her Skinny Girl Margarita:


If you want a SKM on the rocks, it's quite simple. Add ice to a rocks glass, add 2 oz. (a two count) of White Tequila, the juice of 4 lime wedges and a splash of triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau. It's that easy!

If you want a frozen margarita, combine all the ingredients in a blender; just make sure that there is 2 oz. of tequila per serving and you're ready to go! Serve in a chilled glass; and if you'd like to garnish the glass, rim it with a lime and dip in salt or sugar or both
There are several other recipes on the site including a Low Cal Mojito. 
So who's your favorite lady on the show?  Who's your least favorite?  All I have to say is "Silex" has got to go!
(photos from bravotv.comand

Easy Monday Night Meal

Well last Monday the cabinets were bare.  Grocery day was to be the next day or the next.  I had chicken strips and red potatoes and that was about it.  So I went straight to the internet for ideas.  I found several recipes of baked chicken and potatoes.  As always I took the ingredients that I liked from each and made up my own recipe. This was the tasty result:

Chicken and Potatoes

Winter 2009 026 

1 pound chicken breast strips

2 or so pounds of red potatoes

1 Ranch seasoning packet

1/4 cup of Olive Oil

1/2 cup of Light Zesty Italian Dressing (or more depending on your taste)

Dice potatoes.  Stir together chicken, diced potatoes, oil, Ranch, and Italian dressing  in a 9 X 13 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes on 375 degrees.  Remove foil, stir and bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until potatoes are cooked through and slightly browned.

This would be great with a salad.  The sauce from it was delicious. It would be even better with some French bread for dipping.  Also a very healthy meal. Enjoy!