Saturday, May 4, 2013

red velvet cheesecake

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not overbeat).

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

5. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired. I recommend white chocolate shavings ). Keep this cake refrigerated.

— with Heart Cold, Vickie Penny, Margaret Mielko, Melissa A. Morales-Simpson, Deb Darby, Zena Jones, Pamela Christensen, Janet Leonard, Nur Suria and Paula Jones Prince.
— with Shawn Joseph.

A Healthy Snack Option For Cinco de Mayo!Ceviche
2 lb fish fillets, cubed (get whatever’s freshest—shrimp or bay scallops work too)
10 limes
8 garlic cloves
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 habanero chile or jalapeño
1 small red onion, sliced paper-thin
Salt and black pepper
16 large romaine lettuce leaves
2 avocados, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
Hot sauce
Cube fish and place in a nonreactive dish.
Juice limes into a food processor. Squeeze them well, but avoid the membrane, which can cause bitterness. Add garlic and cilantro. Seed hot pepper, remove white ribs, and whack it into a few pieces; throw it into the processor. Pulse until garlic cloves and pepper are finely minced. Pour this mixture over fish. Slice onion and add it to fish.
Refrigerate and let fish marinate overnight. Stir once or twice.
Next day, drain off most of the lime juice, leaving enough to keep fish moist. Salt and pepper to taste.

Prosciutto Asparagus

16 asparagus spears, trimmed,bottom half of stems peeled
8 slices prosciutto, large,cut in half crosswise
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
Drain, and when the asparagus is cool enough to handle, wrap each spear with a slice of prosciutto.
Brush the spears with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Set the grill on medium heat, and cook the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until the prosciutto is marked.
— with Hayley Jimmy Leeper.

Red Lobster inspired Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

Servings: 2


1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 dash fresh ground pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash allspice

Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup ranch dressing
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
5 pieces of thin sliced bacon
5 large shrimp
3 slices fresh jalapenos
1 ounce Monterrey jack pepper cheese


Preheat oven to broil.

Make the seasoning blend by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. Set this aside.
Make the dipping sauce by combining the ranch dressing with cilantro in a medium bowl.
Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium/high heat, but don't cook it all the way to crispy or brown. About 3 minutes per side.
When bacon is done drain on paper towels.
Shell the shrimp, leaving the last segment of the shell and the tail.
Remove the dark vein from the back of the shrimp, and then cut down into the back of the shrimp, without cutting all the way through, so that the shrimp is nearly butterflied open. (This will make a pocket for the pepper and cheese).
Pour 1 cup of water into a small bowl.
Add the shrimp and jalapeno peppers and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds.
Shrimp should be starting to firm up and change color.
Immediately pour the water out of the bowl, remove the jalapeno slices and pour cold water over the shrimp.
Place the shrimp and jalapeno pepper slices onto paper towels to drain off excess water.
Build the appetizer by cutting the jalapeno slices in half and removing the seeds.
You should now have 6 jalapeno slices. You'll need 5 of these.
Place one slice into the slit on the back of a shrimp.
Cut an inch-long chunk of cheese (about 1/4 inch thick), and place it on the jalapeno slice.
Wrap a piece of bacon around the shrimp, starting where the cheese is. Start wrapping the thinnest end of the bacon.
Go 1 1/2 times around the shrimp and then cut off the excess bacon and slide a skewer through the shrimp, starting with the end where the cheese is and piercing the cut end of the bacon on the other side.
Repeat with the remaining shrimp and slide them onto the skewer with the tails facing the same direction.
Put the skewer onto a baking sheet or broiler pan and sprinkle a very light coating of the seasoning blend over the shrimp, then broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown and the cheese begins to ooze.
Serve over a bed of rice if desired.
— with Tammy Keinath.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3-5 chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup canola oil

Rinse chicken, trim off fat or extras and then cut into 1 inch cubes. season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into cornstarch and coat all the way and then into eggs. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook chicken until browned. Place in baking dish. 3 chicken breasts can be in a 9×9 but 5 chicken breasts fits better in a 9×13.

3/4 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Whisk until smooth. Then pour evenly over chicken. Turn chicken so the sauce gets on both sides and then put in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. turn chicken and then cook for 15 more minutes.
— with Kathy Lyles-Stewart, REba Dodd, Alice Marie Harris, Tammy Keinath and Keshya Tuft-Huff.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

1 ¾ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted
Pecan Filling:
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup dark corn syrup
⅓ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pecan Filling:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling:

Reduce oven to 325°. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
— with Biddiejoyce Miller.

Frozen Butterfinger Cups

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 to 2 cups (11.5- to 12-oz. pkg.) Milk Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1(2.1 oz.) Nestlé Butterfinger Candy Bar or 3 Fun Size Nestlé Butterfinger Candy Bars, finely chopped
24 mini foil or paper baking cups
Place sugar, peanut butter, butter, and salt in large mixer bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in chopped Butterfinger.
Place morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring until morsels are melted.
Coat inside sides and bottoms of baking cups with melted chocolate using a small spoon or paintbrush. Transfer cups to mini muffin tin(s); freeze for 10 minutes or until set.
Remove about one-third of chocolate cups from freezer. Spoon peanut butter mixture into cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Spoon melted chocolate over mixture, covering completely and filling cups to the top. Return to freezer; repeat with remaining cups.
Freeze for 20 minutes or until set. Serve immediately or store in tightly covered plastic container in freezer for up to 2 weeks. To serve, remove from freezer and let cups stand for a few minutes. Peel off cup and serve cold. Serves 24

— with Misty Raber and Patricia Taylor.

Egg drop soup:

3 Cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
Pinch Salt (about 1/8 tsp)
2 tbs Chives or green onions, chopped fine
1/2 tbs Cornstarch
1 cup Water
5 Egg whites (or 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg)
In medium pot, combine chicken broth, salt and chives. Bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 cup water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs whites together. Pour egg whites very slowly into boiling broth, while whisking broth continuously. The egg whites will cook instantly as they hit the broth.
Bring heat down to medium, and slowly whisk in the cornstarch/water mixture, until the soup thickens slightly. Take off heat and serve warm.
— with Biddiejoyce Miller.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Banana oat cookies

Yummy, easy, healthy cookies! Only 93 calories each and only 1 weight watchers point :) cookies all day every day for the win!!!

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup of uncooked quick oats
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

Directions:Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with cooking spray or use a Silpat.
Combine the mashed bananas and oats in a bowl. Fold in the walnuts and place a tablespoon of each on the cookie sheet.Bake 15 minutes. Makes 16 cookies

Thursday, May 2, 2013

These are sooo delicious y'all! Bake them, eat them, love them :)

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins


Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins


2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
3 ounces cream cheese, cut in cubes
2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Whole eggs
1/4 cup melted butter, hot, about 175°
1/2 cup milk
1 cup blueberriespaper muffin cup liners


Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°. Line the cups of a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Whisk or stir to blend well.
Using metal blade in food processor, process cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and process 15 seconds. Scrape down side of container with a spatula. With processor running, pour hot melted butter through food chute gradually, but within 10 seconds. Process another 10 seconds. Add milk and process 5 seconds. Add dry ingredients to container and mix with 4 to 6 half-second pulses. Add blueberries and fold in with a spoon. Pour an equal amount of batter into each muffin cup, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes. Cool on rack 15 minutes.Makes 12 muffins

Freeze Fresh Herbs In Olive Oil to use when not in season
freeze them in olive oil! The oil protects the herbs from browning and freezer-burn, and when you need olive oil and herbs at the same time, you can just pop one out of the freezer. As an extra bonus, the herbs infuse they oil with their aroma while they freeze, so you get extra bang for your buck. Also, because they're frozen, the herbs won't lose their potency this way.

Almond Cheesecake Bars (Diabetic Friendly)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 to 5 teaspoons milk

Combine the flour, butter and confectioners' sugar; press onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack.

Combine the frosting ingredients until smooth; spread over bars.

Store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Facts
1 bar equals 145 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 68 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 starch.
— with Darlene evans.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
2 12 1/2 oz cans chunk chicken in water, drained
1/2 cup hot sauce or buffalo wing sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
Assorted fresh vegetables, chips and crackers

1. Stir cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients (except vegetables, chips and crackers)

2. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Stir. Serve with vegetables, chips and crackers.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Makes: About 4 cups

Panko Breaded Shrimp
2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
1/2 c. flour
4 eggs
Grated cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. parsley
Oil or Crisco

Heat oil or Crisco in fry pan. Mix bread crumbs and flour together; add seasonings; set aside. Beat eggs and add grated cheese. Dip shrimp in egg mix. Then dip in crumbs. Place shrimp in fry pan; cook until color changes to pink.

Copy cat Dunkin Doughnuts Iced Coffee
4 ice cubes
2/3 cup coffee (warm or cooled)
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar

Put sugar in a large glass.
Drop in ice cubes.
Pour coffee over ice and add milk.
Stir until sugar is melted.

That's it!

Add c
Crock pot Roast
3 or 4 peeled carrots
3 or 4 peeled potatoes
1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package brown gravy mix, dry
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package ranch dressing mix, dry
1/2 cup water

Place beef roast in crock pot.
Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.
Pour the water around the roast.
Cook on low for 7-9 hours.
Season to taste with salt and pepper
Serve and enjoy


2 ripe Haas avocados
2 small jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, cracked
2 teaspoon coarse salt
Juice of 2 lemons
Tortilla chips and vegetables

Halve the avocados and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh into a medium bowl and add the jalapenos, onions and tomatoes. Chop the garlic and sprinkle it with salt. Using the side of your knife, apply pressure with your hand and crush the garlic and salt into a paste. Add the mixture along with the lemon juice to the avocados and mash with a fork until fairly smooth.

Place in a serving dish and serve with tortilla chips and vegetables.

Makes: About 4 servings.

Copycat Clark Bars..(Love these candy bars..)

1 (16 ounce) package graham crackers, crumbled
1 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan. In a small pot melt chocolate chips and condensed milk together over a low heat.
Stir until well mixed. Spread the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter mixture. Chill the cookie−bars for 4 hours. Cut and serve.
— with Jeanne Bode Williams and Tammy Keinath.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pumpkin Caramel Apple Pie

Spread the caramel apple pie filling evenly into the bottom of the pie crust, set aside while you work on the pumpkin filling.
In a large sauce pan combine the gelatin, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the evaporated milk and pumpkin puree; let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a bubble, cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat then gradually stir 1 cup of the pumpkin mixture into the beaten eggs; return all egg mixture into the sauce pan.
Return to the heat, cook and stir for another 2 minutes but do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar.
Once the pumpkin mixture is ready carefully spread over the apple pie filling, cover and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.

Yield: 6-8 servings

I know this is a bit out of season, but I love them and could eat them all year long!

Gingerbread Cookies
1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp baking powder
4 cups flour

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour. Roll out and place on cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes depending on the thickness and size of your cookies. Cool. Decorate and enjoy!

Here is a picture of gingerbread and sugar cookies I made at Christmas time!

1/2 cup Mexican caramel sauce (cajeta) 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed, softened 7 large eggs, divided 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup sugar 1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix 1 cup water 1/3 cup oil 1/2 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Heat oven to 375ºF. Pour caramel sauce into 12-cup fluted tube pan sprayed with cooking spray. Blend evaporated milk, cream cheese, 4 eggs, vanilla and sugar in blender until smooth. Beat cake mix, water, oil and remaining eggs with mixer until blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Pour over caramel in tube pan; gently ladle flan mixture over cake batter. Cover pan with foil sprayed with cooking spray, sprayed-side down. Place in larger pan. Add enough water to larger pan to come halfway up side of tube pan. Bake 1-1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate 2 hours. Loosen dessert from side of pan; invert onto plate. Remove pan. Serve dessert topped with COOL WHIP.

Cheesy Chicken Bagel Pizzas
Bagel halves are a quick, kid-friendly stand-in for traditional pizza crust.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 bagel pizza)
2 (4 1/2-inch, 2 1/4-ounce) plain bagels, sliced in half
1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat broiler.

2. Place bagel halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

3. Spread 2 tablespoons marinara on cut side of each bagel half. Top each half with 1/4 cup chicken, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil bagel halves an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Mint Simple Syrup (for use with Mint Juleps)

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
10 to 12 fresh mint sprigs

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add mint, and let cool completely. Pour into a glass jar; cover and chill 24 hours. Remove and discard mint.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup butter, softened
50 pecan halves (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon shortening

Stir together first 3 ingredients until blended. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Gently press pecan halves into 2 sides of each ball. Chill 8 hours.
Melt chocolate and shortening in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Dip bourbon balls in chocolate, and place on wax paper.
Chill 1 hour or until hardened.

Homemade Sweet Tea
2 cups boiling water
6 tea bags
1 cup sugar
pinch of baking soda
cold water

Boil 2 cups of water in a pot, once boiling, remove from heat and add baking soda and stir. Add tea bags. Allow to steep about 10 minutes. Right away remove tea bags and stir in sugar until dissolved. Allow to cool. Then add to picture with ice and cold water until pitcher is full.

After making 1 time you can always adjust the amount of sugar up or down depending on your preference of sweetness. I like to make it a little extra sweet in the pitcher because later when I pour it over ice, the ice melts and calms down the sweetness some.

Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce
For picky eaters, try serving this easy meat sauce over whimsically shaped pasta, like bow ties, rotini, or wagon wheels.

Yield: Serves 4
1 (9-ounce) package fresh linguine
1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup prechopped onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

2. While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, oregano, and salt; cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Serve over pasta; top with cheese and parsley.

Mexican beef stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 lbs. (about 1 kilo) oxtails, cut into 2-3″ lengths 1/2 onion chopped 1 clove garlic,
minced water to cover, about 2-3 quarts/liters

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic,
minced 2 potatoes,
peeled and chopped 1/2 lb. (.25 kilo) green beans, cut into 2″ length
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon chipotle chile with adobo sauce, seeded and finely minced
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and brown oxtails.
2. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.
3. Add water to cover and simmer for 1 hour or pressure cook for 20 minutes.
4. Remove meat to cool. When cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Pour off stock and skim most of the fat from the surface, reserving meat and stock.
5. In the same pot, heat oil over medium-low heat and cook chopped onion and garlic until translucent.
6. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Add green beans, tomatoes and chile and cook until all vegetables are tender.
7. Salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Tres leches cupcakes

I know Everyone loves tres leches cake so try these delicious tres leches cupcakes! Yummy


¾ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 3 eggs, separated 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup evaporated milk 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup coconut milk 1 cup lightly toasted flaked coconut (Mounds or Angel Flake brand), optional for garnishing the frosting

Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting:

5 large egg whites 11/2 cup sugar 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla 1/2-1 cup of dulce de leche, room temperature (click here for a homemade recipe with a step-by-step pictorial instructions)



1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing until combined and all the yellow disappears. Add the vanilla, mix to combine. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Alternately add the dry mixture with the buttermilk to the creamed butter beginning and ending with the flour.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into cake batter.

3. Fill paper-linyed wells 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack and set aside.

4. Stir together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and the coconut milk. Use a meat injector needle to inject cupcakes all over with about 1/2 to 3/4-ounce of the mixture. Alternatel, poke several holes in the top of cupcakes with a wooden skewer and then pour the milk mixture over each cupcake while they are still warm, filling each hole. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before frosting.

5. Save lightly toasted flaked coconut for garnishing cupcakes once frosted.

Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting:

1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.

2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks when the whisk is pulled up out of the meringue.

3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dulce de leche and mix to combine.

*NOTE: The consistency of the dulce de leche frosting will depend on how much or or how little you add of the dulce de leche sauce. I’ve written the recipe as 1/2 cup – 1 cup to account for varying ducle de leche consistency that can run on the thinner side when purchased from the store versus making a homemade version that is usually thicker. I recommend starting with 1/2 cup and mix to combine then taste and add more if needed.


1. Frost cooled cupcakes with dulce de leche buttercream and either sprinkle lightly toasted flaked coconut on top or dust with grated chocolate.

Home sausage gravy
1lb spicy or mild sausage
About 5 or so tbs all purpose flour
3-4 cups milk
Optional salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage over medium heat until completely cooked
Mix flour right in with sausage and grease until its a bit pasty
Add milk and turn up heat a bit
Stir continuously!
It will thicken as it heats up
Add more milk if it is too thick/more flour if not thick enough

Voila! Homemade sausage gravy! Ladies, your hunky men will love these served over warm, homemade biscuits!

Oven Fried Potatoes
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp parsley
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 medium potatoes
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp melted butter

Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cut potatoes lengthwise like french fries (leave the skin on). Dip potatoes in milk then coat thoroughly in the dry mixture. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Before placing in oven, lightly sprinkle the potatoes with the melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how thick you cut the potatoes.)

Enjoy! My husband prefers these over french fries and they are healthier since there is no oil and very little butter used.

Puerco pibil (a.k.a cochinita pibil)

-5 pounds of pork butt cut into cubes
-5 tablespoons annato seeds
-2 teaspoons cumin seeds
-1 tablespoon whole black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
-8 whole allspice berries
-2 habanero peppers, cleaned and minced (can be either fresh or dried, I used fresh the two times I made it)
-1/2 cup orange juice
-1/2 cup white vinegar
-8 garlic cloves
-2 tablespoons of salt
-5 lemons
-a shot of tequila
-banana leaves (optional)

Grind the dry spices (annato and cumin seeds, pepper, allspice, cloves) and set aside. You can either do it by hand in a mortar or use a spice grinder or food processor. Blend the orange juice with the habaneros (if you want to make it not too spicy take the seeds out of the habaneros), the garlic, the vinegar and the salt, then mix the ground dry spices. Add the 5 lemons and the tequila shot. Place the marinade and the cubed pork in a Ziploc bag and marinate for 4-6 hours, turning it over occasionally. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x13 baking pan with the banana leaves (if you find any in your area, again, this is not necessary), pour the pork along with the marinade inside the pan and cover with the leaves and aluminum foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 4 hours. Serve over white rice or cilantro lime rice.

Oreo dessert:
1 bag Oreos, crushed 8oz cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup butter 1 cup powdered sugar 3 cups milk 2 sm boxes instant vanilla pudding 1/2 tsp vanilla 12 oz Cool Whip, thawed Cream together cream cheese, butter & powered sugar & vanilla. In separate bowl mix milk & pudding chill until set. fold in cool whip after pudding has set. add cream cheese mixture. layer with Oreos... Chill until ready to serve

Pulled Pork in the Crockpot
2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 can Coke (not Diet)
1 can Dr Pepper (not Diet)
garlic powder
onion powder
Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ Sauce

Put pork tenderloin in the Crockpot and sprinkle generously with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour Coke and Dr Pepper over the meat. Cook in Crockpot for 8 hours on low.

After 7 hours, drain the liquid out of the Crockpot. Shred the pork using 2 forks, then pour about half a bottle of BBQ sauce on it and mix well. Cook for the last hour.

When done add a little more BBQ sauce stir and serve!

I just had this for dinner and I kept picking it out of the Crockpot and just eating it because it was so good and flavorful! Enjoy!

You can also substitute and use 2 Coke or 2 Dr Pepper and use any BBQ sauce you prefer.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Salsa verde
Tomatillos 8-10
Jalapenos 8-10 (add more if you want it really spicy)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 an white onion
1 chicken flavored bullion cube
Cilantro (add for taste)
1 lime
Slice the tomatillos in half and add them to a hot pan I use a pancake griddle, slice jalapenos in half add them as well. Add lime juice, bullion cube, onion ,garlic , and cilantro to the blender. Add the tomatillos and jalapenos to blender the tomatillos should be soft and slightly charred and your jalapenos will be charred blend until smooth!

Tiramisu Brownies (They are more of a chocolate mocha flavor)
1 pkg (19-21 oz) brownie mix
1 cup milk
¼ cup instant coffee granules
1 (12 oz) cool whip thawed
2 pkg (3.4 oz) cheesecake pudding
20 chocolate crème-filled cookies – coarsely chopped (2 cups total)
2 T. chocolate chips grated
¼ t. cinnamon

(For temperature and bake time follow directions on brownie mix and DO NOT overbake! If the box says 25-30 minutes you probably only want to cook them for 24-25 max!)
Heat oven to 350°
13x9 rectangle pan – spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Make brownies following the cake-like recipe and bake for whatever the box says.
Cool completely.
Combine milk and coffee. Stir until dissolved.
Add half of the cool whip and all pudding mix. Whisk until smooth.
Fold in chopped cookies. (The Ninja works best for these!)
Spread evenly over cooled brownies.
Top with the rest of the cool whip and the grated chocolate chips and cinnamon.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.

BBQ Ribs in the Crockpot
3 lbs pork ribs
1 cup water
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ)
Place ribs laying down in Crockpot. Pour water, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce over ribs. Then pour BBQ sauce on top. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
When done cooking in Crockpot, lay ribs on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Brush on additional BBQ sauce and cook in oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
These are fall off the bone good!

Stove Top Tamale Pie

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 packages McCormick® Taco Seasoning Mix
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, undrained
1 package (8 ounces) Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup water

Brown ground beef in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat. Stir in Seasoning Mix, tomato sauce and beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare corn muffin mix as directed on package. Drop small spoonfuls of batter over meat mixture. Cover.

Cook on medium-low heat 15 minutes or until corn bread is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese and green onions. Cover. Cook on low heat until cheese is melted.
— with Marie Patrix.

Lemon flavor ice
Large Ice Cubes for Pitchers (Great for Summer!)
1. Thinly slice up lemon and limes.
2. Place a few slices in each section of a muffin tin.
3. Carefully fill the muffin cups the rest of the way with water.
4. Freeze overnight.
5. Pop out and place in a large pitcher of water or iced tea!

Oven Fried Green Tomatoes

4 Green tomatoes, sliced
½ stick butter, ¼ cup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder, heaping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter in a baking pan. Stir in salt and pepper. Coat sliced tomatoes with flour and place in baking pan. Bake on lower rack of oven for 8 minutes. Turn oven up to broil in order to brown tomato slices. Serves about 6
— with Tammy Bruner-Marvin and Ithaca Sunkissed Butts.

Ooey Gooey Chewy Walnut Pie
Serves 12
Time: 1 hour

1 pie crust, unbaked
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate pieces or bar, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line 9 or 10 inch pie plate with unbaked pie crust and form edges.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, eggs, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.
4. Stir in chocolate and walnuts until they are well incorporated.
5. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the filling comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Stuffed Italian Bread

1 Italian loaf, about 12 inches long
1 stick butter, melted
1/8 cup olive oil
3 tsp minced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tsp chopped parsley (add more if you wish)
12 oz grated cheese (use a mix of white cheddar and Monterrey jack.)(Or your choice)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Mix the melted butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds and parsley in a bowl.

Cut the bread into cubes with X slices without cutting all the way through the bottom crust.

Pour the butter-onion garlic mixture carefully into those X cracks using a small spoon and over the top of the bread. Fill those delicious cracks with the grated cheese.

Wrap the entire loaf with foil, sealing the sides properly and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and unwrap. Bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey.
— with Christina Strongblacklady Douglas and Ithaca Sunkissed Butts.

Apple Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped apple

•2 cups powdered sugar
•1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and egg until just combined. Fold in apple. Pour oil into skillet so that it is approximately 1 1/2 deep. Heat oil on high. Oil is ready when a little dough thrown in floats to top. Carefully add dough to oil in heaping teaspoons. Cook until brown, about 2 minutes, then flip. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned. Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack. Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over apple fritters. Wait approximately 3 minutes for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and drizzle glaze over the other side. Best served warm.

Spaghetti squash with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, and peas

1 medium size spaghetti squash (about 2lb)
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 broccoli crown, chopped
2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
grated parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
salt/pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape/remove seeds with a spoon. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet; bake for 45 minutes. Let squash cool.
3. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash to remove strands.
4. In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute one minute, then add spaghetti squash and saute an additional 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, sundried tomatoes, and broccoli. Saute 5 minutes.
6. Add peas, grilled chicken, and remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth. Shake about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into mixture (just enough to thicken the chicken broth).
7. Reduce heat to medium-ow. Cover skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes.
8. Serve with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.
— with Ithaca Sunkissed Butts.