Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chocolate Pudding Pops


Oh how I loved these growing up.  In the summer Mom would sometimes buy us these tasty treats.  I have not looked hard but I am not sure you can still buy them in the store??  I would rather make them homemade anyways, that way you can make whatever flavor you would like.  These are made with Jello brand instant Chocolate and instant White Chocolate pudding.  Super easy to make too.  Just make the pudding as directed on the box and then either pour into your Popsicle mold or paper cups and freeze until they are good and frozen.  I used 1 3.4 oz box each flavor.  That filled my 10 Popsicle mold and enough left over for a custard cup of pudding.

Pudding Pops

1  3.4oz  instant Chocolate pudding
1  3.4oz  instant White Chocolate pudding
4 Cups milk

Make each flavor separate according to package directions for pudding.  Then layer them however you would like in either a Popsicle mold or paper cups.  Freeze until good and frozen and then enjoy!

I have entered these over at the Gooseberry Patch blog hop this week.  Go here to check out all the Kid Friendly Recipes 

Shared over at


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Strawberry Bacon Pasta Salad with Blush Wine Vinaigrette


We have ripe strawberries in our strawberry patch.  We have 2 different kinds of strawberries planted.  Billy bought me some plants last year that were different than the ones we had planted the year before.  These that Billy got for me have come on early and they have nice big juicy strawberries on them.


It was nice to walk out into my strawberry patch and pick some fresh strawberries for this salad that I am taking to a graduation party later today.  I am going to have strawberries coming out of my ears by the time they are through.  One thing I will be making again this year is Strawberry Freezer Jam.  Billy and Cally both liked taking jars of this back to school with them.  Gives them a little taste of home when they are away.

Strawberry Bacon Pasta Salad with Blush Wine Vinaigrette
Nina Jones, Crazy for Cookies and More

1 lb strawberries, cleaned and quartered
1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
12 oz bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
2 C Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C shredded parmesan cheese
12oz bottle blush wine vinaigrette dressing, I used Briannas Home Style

Cook and drain pasta.  Clean and cut up strawberries.  Cook, drain and crumble bacon.  Then mix everything together.  It is better to make a few hours before serving and place in refrigerator so it is nice and cold.  Store lefter overs in refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mint Brownie Cake


This is my entry for Get Your Chef On Cooking Challenge (GYCO).  It is sponsored by blogs Four Marrs one Venus  and White lights on Wednesday .  This Challenge was to use the secret ingredient of CHOCOLATE.  I think everyone probably has a favorite chocolate recipe.  My favorite is chocolate and mint.  I think they go together just as well as chocolate and peanut butter.




This dessert has a brownie bottom and a light and airy minty topping.  The topping has cream cheese, sugar and cool whip with mint extract for the flavoring.  Oh it is heavenly.  This is especially good on a warm summer night as the dessert is kept in the fridge until ready to serve and it is cold and the mint makes a cool sensation in your mouth as you eat it.

I usually make it in a 9 inch spring form pan but today I choose to make it in several 4 inch spring form pans.  So everyone got their own little Brownie Mint Cake.  I chose to make my topping a light pink but you could also choose Green or any color food coloring that tickles your fancy.

The brownie recipe is a family recipe given to me by my husband's Aunt Evelyn.  These are the best brownies I have ever eaten.  Aunt Evelyn makes these brownies in a sheet pan.  We can devour a whole sheet pan of these brownies in a day..........yummy!

Make sure to stop by Four Marrs One Venus and White Lights on Wednesday to check out the other chocolate entries.



Mint Brownie Cake

brownie bottom:
1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 oz  Hershey's Chocolate syrup
2 eggs
1/2 Cup flour

Filling:
 8 ounce cream cheese softened
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 ounce carton cool whip, thawed
3/4 Cup sugar
pink food coloring
semi sweet chips for garnishing
additional whipped topping for garnishing

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and blend well.  Add flour stir and then add syrup and vanilla, mix well.  Pour into a greased 9 inch spring form pan and Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. (I used 4 inch spring form pans.  You would get 3-4 pans depending on how thick you make the brownie bottom, bake these for 15-20 minutes)  Cool on a wire rack.

In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add extract and food coloring, mix well.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spread over brownie layer.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Garnish with additional whipped topping and mini chocolate chips if desired.





Monday, May 20, 2013

Good afternoon! A winner has been selected for the Gift Cards Galore giveaway. Lisa E. won by following Krista from Joyful Healthy Eats via Pinterest. You can see the entry number and name that was selected via the rafflecopter below. Thank you to everyone who participated! Be sure to continue to follow these lovely ladies along on their blogs and social media. We may be bringing another fantastic giveaway to you in a couple of months!Gift Cards Galore 2 The fabulous ladies who bring you the blogs listed below and I came together to bring you the chance to win four fantastic gift cards (that's right, winner takes all!) Thank these wonderful ladies for helping make this giveaway possible!
This giveaway runs from 8am est, Monday, May 6th and ends on Sunday, May 19th at 11:59pm est. A winner will be announced on Monday, May 20th. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lemon Chiffon Cake


I saw this Lemon Chiffon Cake on Little Miss Celebration blog.  Through the gift card giveaway that I am a part of I got to meet Cindy.  From looking at Cindy's blog her and I have a lot of the same favorites.  When I saw this Lemon Chiffon Cake I knew I would be making it.  Then today I see she has posted Browned Butter Almond Torte with Browned Butter Glaze.  Another two of my favorites, Almond and Browned Butter.  You can bet on seeing this cake on my blog in the near future!

I was surprised when I looked up the history of Chiffon Cake on Wikipedia.  Chiffon Cake was invented in 1927 by Harry Baker.  He kept his recipe a secret until  1947 when he sold it to General Mills.  Chiffon cake is very light and made with vegetable oil, egg whites, sugar,flour and baking powder.  It is like an Angel  Food Cake.

This cake calls for cake flour.  I did not have any cake flour but found on Joythebaker.com how to make cake flour.  It was really simple.  Click her for the instructions for cake flour.

I used Meyer Lemons in my cake.  Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.  My cake does not taste very lemony and I wonder if it is because of these lemons I used.  It is very good, light and fluffy.  I think I am going to try different flavors next time.  Maybe a Cherry Chiffon Cake.  I am thinking about adding a package of dry cherry jello to the cake and then using a cherry limeade drink with the powdered sugar for the glaze.  I am hopping for a tart cherry flavor, so stay tuned for that one to come.

Lemon Chiffon Cake
Source: Little Miss Celebration 

2 C cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 C oil
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1/2 C milk
1/2 t finely grated lemon zest
6 egg whites
1/2 t cream of tarter (if using a stainless steel bowl to beat egg whites)

Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
3-4 T fresh lemon juice
1 t finely grated lemon zest


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add oil, lemon juice, milk and grated lemon rind. Mix well.
2. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. If you are using a stainless steel bowl, add ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar when the whites are just foamy.
3. Gently fold about 1/3 of the whites into the flour mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
4. Pour batter into a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean and top springs back when you press it gently with your finger, about one hour (mine was done in 45 minutes) 
5. Cool cake in pan upside down on wire rack until completely cooled.

Lemon Glaze


To make Lemon Glaze place sifted confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and lemon rind; beat until smooth. Lift the spoon from the bowl; the icing should leave a thick trail when it falls back into the bowl. If it’s too thick, add more lemon juice. If it’s too thin, add a little more sifted confectioner’s sugar.
Use the icing right away. Once the cake is cool, drizzle, a little or a lot.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Strawberry Lime Margarita Cheesecake

Yum
This is my entry in the Spiked Recipe Challenge for Tequila.  When I think of Tequila, I think of Margaritas.  I put my thinking cap on and tried to image the taste of margarita cupcakes.  Oh that sounded good but then I got to thinking of my all time favorite dessert...........Cheesecake.  Oh the thought of strawberries and cream cheese sounded really good and then add in the taste of lime margarita that sounded even better.  So that is how this recipe began.

There are a lot of amazing looking dishes made with Tequila, so head on over to This Gal Cooks and Frugal Foodie Mama to check them out!




I also put my "Monica" Strawberry flower on top of the cheesecakes.  I named it the "Monica" flower after my blogger friend Monica at Lick the Bowl Good.  Thanks Monica for sharing your talent and giving me the idea of putting the strawberry flower on top of my cheesecake.

I used 6  4 inch springform pans for my cheesecakes but you can also use a 10 inch springform pan.  The flower was hard to put on the little cheesecake.  To get it on I broke up toothpicks and put them through the strawberries to hold them in place on the cake.  If making the 10 inch cheesecake I don't think it would be any problem getting the strawberry flower to stay on top.

Strawberry Lime Margarita Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1/2 C butter cookie crumbs
1/4 C melted butter
1/4 C sugar
filling:
1/4 C whipping cream
3 (8oz) Cream Cheese
1 C Sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 C Tequila
1/2 C Strawberry Margarita mix
zest of 1 lime
1/4 C flour
Flower Top:
1 lb strawberries

Crust:
Mix crust ingredients and put in bottom of 10 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.  (if using 4 inch springform pan put in 6 pans and bake at 350 degrees for 8 min)

Filling:
Mix together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and mix until well combined.  Then add the vanilla, vanilla seeds, lime zest and whipping cream until well mixed together. Add tequila and mix until well combined.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.  Reserve 1/2 of the batter and mix the strawberry margarita mix into this reserved portion.  Pour the remaining batter into the springform pan on top of the baked crust.  Then take the strawberry margarita mixture and pour over the first layer of batter.  Take a knife and swirl the batter to mix the 2 together. (if using the 4 inch springform pan divide all batters between the 6 pans)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Turn off oven and open the door, let cake remain in the oven for 20 minutes. (for the 4 inch springform pan bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Beer Battered Grilled Ham, Bacon and Cheese Sandwich

Yum 

Happy Mothers Day.  I had a terrific day today, just wish the weather would have been better.  Here it is May and we have a fire going in the stove tonight.  I do not think we have ever had a fire this late in the spring.  This morning Cally made me egg in the hole for breakfast...oh boy I love those things.  Both of the kids had to work today.  But I was able to spend yesterday with Billy and this evening with Cally.  I am going to be a lucky Momma next weekend as both of the kids will be home.

This is my new favorite grilled cheese.  The beer battered outside grilled up real nice and toasty.  The outside of the sandwich was a little sweet tasting.  It reminded me of french toast grilled cheese but I did not add any sugar so I am guessing it was the beer that made it taste that way.

Beer Battered Grilled Ham, Bacon and Cheese Sandwich
adapted from bettycrocker.com

8 slices Bacon
8 slices rustic bread
8 slices provolone cheese
8 slices cheddar cheese
1/2 pound deli ham
1 egg
3/4 C beer
1/4 C flour

Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels.  Mix together the egg, beer and flour.  Heat griddle or skillet on medium high heat and coat with butter.  Take a slices of bread and dip one side into the beer mixture.  Place on griddle beer mixture side down and then layer cheddar cheese, 2 slices of bacon, ham and then provolone cheese take another slices of bread and dip one side into the beer mixture and place it on top of the provolone cheese with the beer mixture side up.  Do this with the remaining sandwiches.  Grill on each side of the sandwich until nice and toasty and cheese is melted.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vegetable Pizza




Welcome all my new facebook and pinterest followers.  I am glad you are here.  This is a dish that I made awhile back and just have not posted yet.  The vegetable pizza is a lunch that my family likes to have on the weekend.  The crust is buttery crescent rolls, the "sauce" is a ranch dressing then you layer it with all the goodies.  My family likes cauliflower and broccoli then sprinkle it with cheese.  You can add any vegetable toppings that you like.

Vegetable Pizza

2 cans crescent rolls
1 C sour cream
1  8oz cream cheese
1 t dill weed
1/4 t garlic salt
1 (1oz) dry ranch dressing
Broccoli--chopped
Cauliflower--chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread crescent rolls on a jelly roll pan and bake for 10 minutes

Mix sour cream, cream cheese, dill weed, garlic salt and ranch together

Spread mixture onto cooled crescent roll crust

Next layer veggies on top of the ranch mixture then sprinkle cheese on top and serve

Remember to enter the big gift card extravaganza the details are listed below


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Monday, May 6, 2013

"The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" and Gift Card Extravaganza Giveaway


We had a busy weekend, packing and unpacking then storing Cally's college things.  Wow, I did not realize how much work it was going to be to bring everything home.  She is back as school this week to start her summer class then I will have her home for the rest of the summer, not that she will be home much with her summer job but it will be nice to have her here for awhile.

These cookies are just as they claim to be, The best Chocolate Chip Cookies that I have ever tasted.  These come to us from the blog, The Messy Cook. 

The only thing I did different is I used my mixer to make these where as tradition she mixes hers by hand.  If you wish to mix yours by hand go to her blog for the hand mixing instructions.

Also I am participating in a Great Pre-Summer Giveaway with some fabulous other bloggers.  Below the recipe be sure to check out the Gift Card Extravaganza Giveaway!  Good Luck!!!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies 
source:  The Messy Cook


3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips.

Heat oven to 350. Mix the two types of sugar and softened butter together in the bowl until smooth. Crack in the egg and combine. Add in vanilla, baking soda and salt mixing these ingredients until well combined. Add flour and mix until well combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop out dough. and roll the dough quickly in your hands to make a ball and then put them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Make approx 24. Bake for 10-13 minutes



  Gift Cards Galore 2
 That's right, folks. It's a gift card extravaganza! The fabulous ladies who bring you the blogs listed below and I have come together to bring you the chance to win four fantastic gift cards (that's right, winner takes all!) What would you do with $200 to Amazon.com? Or how about $100 to Target? Need a coffee fix? (and we all need one of those on Monday morning.) We've got you covered with a $50 Starbucks card. And breakfast, lunch and/or dinner is covered too! With all of the fantastic choices at Panera Bread and your $50 Panera Bread gift card, you won't starve! Please note, if you live outside of the US and are selected as the winner, you will be given a $400 gift card to Amazon.com. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter. Thank these wonderful ladies and then enter to win this FANTASTIC prize pack!
  This giveaway runs from 8am est, Monday, May 6th and ends on Sunday, May 19th at 11:59pm est. A winner will be announced on Monday, may 20th. Good luck!
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