Monday, May 30, 2011

Salad Time..any time....

I love my salad.  All kinds except seafood.  This  one I threw together in a pinch..had more company coming then I thought.  Oh!  And for just throwing ingredients was fabulous... Also see the recipes for dressings.  Enjoy your summer salad fest!

Sante Fe Pasta Salad
I used color rotini..I ran out of bowtie pasta!
16 ounces uncooked bowties 
1/2 bag Sante Fe frozen vegetables
or        1/2 can (15-1/4 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
            1/2 can (7 ounces) corn kernels, drained
            1/2 green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sliced black olives, optional
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
3 TB ranch dressing mix, dry
1/3 cup salsa

Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain, then rinse with cold water.
Steam vegetables while pasta is cooking.  Rinse with cold water.
Make dressing.
Mix all together, including olives (optional).  Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor.

                   Make it a meal - add grilled cubed chicken breasts!

Salad Dressings:

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Green Giant® Fresh green onions, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon poppy seed 

In blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine orange juice, vinegar, onions, sugar and salt. Cover; blend well. With machine running, slowly add oil, blending until thick and smooth. Add poppy seed; blend a few seconds to mix. 

Cranberry Vinaigrette
½ cup jellied cranberry sauce (from 14-oz can)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
¼ teaspoon salt

In blender or food processor, place vinaigrette ingredients. Cover; blend or process 15 to 20 seconds or until smooth. Pour into 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

Ginger Lime Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice from Green Giant® Fresh limes (2 small limes)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon grated gingerroot or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

In tightly covered container, shake all dressing ingredients. 

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup olive or canola oil
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp minced shallot(optional)
Can add:  1/3 cup frozen or fresh raspberry or strawberry

In tightly covered container, shake all dressing ingredients. 

3 tablespoons apple juice
2 tablespoons strawberry spreadable fruit
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

In small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until blended.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
4 large strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup white sugar or splenda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender, place the sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil, strawberries and blend until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds. 

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
1 sm. onion
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. vinegar
2 c. salad oil
2 tsp. poppy seed

Place onion in blender and chop. Add sugar, dry mustard, salt and vinegar to onion; blend well. Add salad oil a small amount at a time and blend well after each addition. Pour into jar or container and add poppy seed. Refrigerate. Shake well before pouring over fresh spinach and sliced strawberries.

Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
2 teaspoons strawberry jam
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pint strawberries, sliced
4 to 5 cups chopped romaine or mixed greens of any kind

Place jam in a medium bowl and whisk in vinegar then extra-virgin olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the strawberries and greens to bowl and toss to coat evenly in dressing.

Check out these websites for more dressing ideas
California Olive Ranch 
What's Cooking America
Smucker's Salads

THE Ultimate Dessert....

Banana Split Dessert
Layer 1
Chocolate Crust
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
Heat oven to 400°F. In medium bowl, mix all crust ingredients until soft dough forms. Press firmly and evenly against bottom and side of ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 30 minutes.

Layer 2
Cream Cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered or granulated sugar
3 to 4 bananas
Whip cream cheese in mixer with sugar.   In separate bowl, whip the cream.  Fold into cream cheese.
Spread on top of cooled crust.  Slice bananas and spread over top of cream cheese layer.   Cover and refrigerate.

Layer 3
Caramel Topping
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Combine sugar, butter, buttermilk and corn syrup, baking soda in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes (continue to stir!) until all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.  Drizzle over bananas.

Layer 4
Chocolate Pudding
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 cups non-fat milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Add milk and bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and stir until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into container,  cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.  Pour over banana layer, spread evenly.  Refrigerate about an 30 minutes.

Layer 5
Strawberry Whipped Cream
Whip 2 cups whipping cream.  Divide in half.  With half add 1/4 cup strawberry jam or strawberry topping.  Whip until mixed.  Spread over chocolate pudding layer.

Layer 6
Whipped cream.  Spread remaining whipped cream over strawberry layer.  Cover and chill for about 4 hours.

Layer 7, if desired
Chocolate Syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
Combining the chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup cream in a microwave-safe dish. Place in the microwave and cook on medium-high heat stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate chips are melted and the chocolate sauce is smooth.  Cool.  Drizzle over each piece, top with nuts, & maraschino cherry.

You can totally CHEAT on this recipe.....


Layer 1 - Oreo Crust
30 Oreos , crushed
6 TB melted butter
Combine and press into pan.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes
Layer 2 - Cream Cheese
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 TB milk
1 cup cool whip
Beat cream cheese, milk, sugar until mixed.  Fold in cool whip.  Top with sliced bananas.
Layer 3 - Caramel
Drizzle caramel ice cream topping over bananas
Layer 4 - Chocolate Pudding
2 packages (3.9 oz) chocolate pudding mix, instant
3 1/4 cups milk
Whisk together ingredients.  Pour over bananas.
Layer 5 - Strawberry Whipped Cream
Whisk together 2 cups cool whip with  1/4 cup strawberry jam or strawberry topping.  Spread over chocolate pudding layer.
Layer 6 - Cool Whip
Spread 2 cups cool whip over layer.
Cover, chill for 4 hours.
Layer 7 - Chocolate Sauce
Drizzle Hershey's Syrup over each piece, top with nuts and maraschino cherry.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Treat...

Strawberry-Lemon Squares
1 C               Butter
½ C.            Powdered Sugar
½ C.            Walnuts or Pecans (finely chopped)
2 ¼ C.         Flour
1/8 tsp        Salt
2 C.             Sugar, granulated
4                  Eggs
7 Tbsp.       Lemon Juice
1 TB            Lemon zest
5                 Medium strawberries
4 drops       Red food coloring

Combine butter, powdered sugar, 2 cups flour, nuts, and salt with pastry blender until crumbly.  Press mixture into 9 X 13 lightly greased pan.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes at 350.
Combine remaining flour and 2 cups granulated sugar in a bowl.  In blender: blend strawberries, eggs, lemon juice, zest,  and food coloring on high until smooth.  Add to flour/sugar and mix well.  Pour onto crust.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 or until set.  Cool.  Refrigerate about an hour.  Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares.  Enjoy!

Using the same crust or make a graham cracker crust for the following

Lime Cream Bars
1 lg instant Vanilla
1 lg lime J-ello
1 8 oz cool whip
2 cups water
Dissolve the gelatin in 1 C boiling water. 
Add 1 C cold water and let set up for 5 minutes. 
Using an electric mixer, beat dry pudding mix into the J-ello until well
blended. Refrigerate until set.  
Fold cool whip. Pour into crust in a 9x13 pan.
Chill for at least 2 hours.
Top with additional cool whip when serving.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blueberry Muffins..aweeeeee


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1  1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup milk
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) fresh or frozen blueberries, stems removed

For the topping(see below), in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add the butter pieces and combine the mixture with a fork until the topping resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper liners in muffin pans. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat one egg in at a time, then add vanilla, sour cream, and milk until combined. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients at a time and beat until just combined. With a spatula, evenly fold blueberries into batter.
Scoop batter into muffin pans and fill each cup to the top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out clean.
Makes 24 muffins
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's My Birthday!!!!!!

Neapolitan Cake

Cake 1                                                
2-1/2    cup sifted cake flour
1-1/2    cups sugar
3-1/2    tsp. baking powder
1/2       cup butter, softened
1/2       tsp. salt
3/4       cup milk                                
1-1/2    tsp. vanilla                              
4          egg whites                             
1/4       cup chocolate syrup               
Cake 2
1 1/4    sifted cake flour
3/4       cups sugar
1 3/4    tsp. baking powder
1/4       cup butter, softened
1/4       tsp. salt
1/3       Strawberry Margarita mix
1          tsp red food coloring
2          egg whites

Cake 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9 x 13 cake pan and line the bottom with parchment; set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, & salt into a  bowl.
Cream butter & sugar. Add egg whites & vanilla. Add flour alternating with milk.
Beat on slow speed until blended. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Remove 1/3 batter and to that add chocolate syrup.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Cake 2
Sift flour, baking powder, & salt into a  bowl.
Cream butter & sugar. Add egg whites and food coloring. Add flour alternating with Margarita mix.
Beat on slow speed until blended. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Pour vanilla batter into prepared pan. By spoonfuls, drop the chocolate & strawberry batters randomly on top.  Then "marble" through the vanilla batter.
Bake in a 350 degree oven 30-35 minutes or until center comes out clean.   Cool 15 minutes in pans, then carefully remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

THIS WAS A LITTLE DISAPPOINTING.  A little dry.  I think I over baked it.  But I will try again.  I may have a resolution!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It Is More Than Heavenly....

Ooooo...Chocolate Caramel Cream Pie.  I have done exceptionally well the last 2 sweets, about 800 calories a day...lots of water...feeling great.  But of course, when it comes to a creation like this..I had to give in just a bit....

Chocolate Caramel Cream Pie

Chocolate Crust
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease pie plate. In large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Sift together flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture. Mixture will be crumbly when all the flour has been incorporated. Press evenly into prepared pan and bake for 12-17 minutes.  Cool.

1 1/4 cup buttermilk syrup*
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
8 oz chocolate cool whip
Beat cream cheese and 1 cup topping.  Fold in cool whip (do not over mix). Spread in cooled crust.  Chill at least 2 hours.  Top with drizzled 1/4 cup remaining syrup and chopped nuts.
* click here  for recipe or you can use bottled caramel ice cream topping.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coffee Cake is NOT for Coffee!

Almond Coffee Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large egg
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Cream  butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts
2. Combine flour, baking powder, soda,  and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended.
3.  Combine almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon in a separate bowl.
4. Pour half of batter into a greased and floured 8x8 or 9x9 square pan; sprinkle with half of almond mixture. Pour remaining batter into pan; top with remaining almond mixture.
5. Sprinkle additional almonds on top, optional.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (cover with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.) Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares, sprinkle powder sugar, if desired.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Banana IN Pajamas..NOT!

THE most amazing muffins...Don't even know where I found the recipe.  YOU have to make these.


2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3 ripe bananas
1 c. sour cream
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 extra lg. eggs
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. Process the bananas with the sour cream until smooth. Set aside.
Beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternately with the banana mixture in two additions, beating only until blended. Fold in the chocolate morsels.
Line muffin tins with cupcake papers or used greased nonstick muffin tin. Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from tins. Makes 18 muffins.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

MOTHER'S - Proud to be among them

 I am proud to be a MOTHER.  Not just a mother, but a mother of SIX incredible people - Elizabeth, Sarah, Rebecca, Mark, Mark, & Julia.  By being a Mom, I earn the honor of GRANDMOTHER - thanks Bec for Avalynn!
In honor of my Mother's Day Celebration, I am making Strawberry Trifle.  So worth the time and effort.
Picture of progress....
The Buttermilk Pound Cake - ready to go into the oven

Making the pudding filling

Plastic wrap on the pudding to prevent it from going hard..etc. 

My beautiful pounbd cake...moist..perfect!

My beautiful pound cake????  Actually, just trimmed off the edges.

Cut up pound cake!  Man I am mutilating this cake.

Strawberry glaze just starting.

Getting thicker.

Time to whip the cream.

All the necessary items to start the assembly....

Adding the glaze to some of the whip cream.
The ASSEMBLY has begun....

Go on....

Get the recipe   I did ONE small change for this recipe though - I whipped the strawberry glaze with 1/2 the whipped cream.  Oh man!  WOW!  That's all I am going to say.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

Yes! We ALL need to Celebrate Teachers...I believe in Public Education with all my heart and the timeless efforts of those who have taught, and continue to teach, my children.  If I could hug and kiss all of the wonderful teachers in the NEBO SCHOOL DISTRICT  I would!  I have been honored to be a Room Mom for several years.  I also have been honored to serve on PTA.  The wonderful people I am able to serve with both at Cherry Creek Elementary  and Springville JR High  are amazing.  OH! And to help out at Springville High School  with the amazing orchestra lead by Dr. Samuel TsugawaTEACHERS DESERVE SO MUCH!
It is TEACHER APPRECIATION at Cherry Creek. 
My babes, JuJu Bug has Mrs. Cheryl Neilson - who is amazing.  So I baked her some incredibly delicious brownies.  I just hope Ju can get them to school without dropping them!  You need to make these..I am serious.  ADDICTING!!!!!!!

Irish Cream Gooey Brownies.  Get the recipe!

Dr. T..AMAZING orchestra leader.
Raising the bar by expecting MORE.  
Mrs. Neilson - Julia's 5th Grade Teacher
I love being her room mom!
Mr. Earl - not one of my kid's teachers this year,
but he has been in the past.  We love Mr. Earl.