Recipes Feed

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!

Apples1 

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 karascupcakes.blogspot.com)


Peep Show

Check out these adorable Peeps cupcakes from Fancy Flours!

Easter Peeps Cupcakes

Peepsrecipe 

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


Instructions:
• 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 

Gumdrop-cake-200 

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 allyou.com)


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

Strawberry589MBS 

Ingredients

  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

Directions

  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

Cheese_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 kraftfoods.com)


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)


Bravo!

Housewives-nyc

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

Housewives_single_full

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 Ehow.com.  Here is her Skinny Girl Margarita:

Margarita-main_Full 

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 ehow.com)

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!


Sweet Treat

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red-velvet-cupcakes-200

What a festive cupcake for Valentine's Day!  Red Velvet is my favorite cake, mostly because of the cream cheese icing.  My mother's birthday is on Valentine's Day and I think these would be perfect for the occasion.

Prep:  15 min.

Bake:  20 min.

Cost per serving:  76 cents

Yield:  16 cupcakes

CUPCAKES:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks

1 1/2 Tbsp. red food coloring

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

FROSTING:

6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin and 4 cups of a 6-cup muffin tin. Fill 2 empty muffin cups halfway with water.

2. Mix flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yolks, food coloring and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat just until all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Divide batter among cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans to rack to cool completely.

4. Make frosting: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add sugar and beat until easy to spread.


(photo and recipe from allyou.com)