Tuesday, December 15, 2009

{Festive Holiday Recipe}

This is a yummy holiday recipe that my dear friend Cathy posted on another board.

Saving it here, so that I can be sure to try!

Cranberry and Pistachio Shortbread


*  2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
* 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped


In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 - 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. (Make sure that the nuts and cranberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough.)

Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on the center of a 14 inch (35 cm) length of parchment or wax paper. Smooth and shape the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 10 inches (25 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Then thoroughly wrap the shaped logs in the parchment or wax paper, twists the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a thin bladed knife, slice the logs into 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.5 to 1 cm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 48 shortbread cookies.

(Source: Cathy, SBB)

Monday, December 14, 2009

{On The 12th Day Of Christmas}

Christmas Morning Gingerbread Pancakes

Serves 5 (3 pancakes each)


* 1 1/2 C. All-purpose Flour

* 3 T. Baking Powder

* 3/4 t. Ground Ginger

* 1/2 t. Ground Cinnamon

* 1/4 t. Ground Cloves

* 1/4 C. Ground Hazelnuts (optional)

* 1 1/2 C. Milk

* 2 T. Chocolate Syrup

* 3 Egg Whites

* 3 T. Dark Molasses

* 2 T. Canola Oil


In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and hazelnuts (if desired) until well blended.
In a medium bowl whisk together milk, chocolate syrup, egg whites and molasses. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir just enough to moisten; batter will be lumpy.
Heat a thick, nonstick griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil over the bottom of the pan. Pour batter on to the griddle, using 1/4 cup for each pancake (spread out a little with the back of a spoon because the batter is thick). Cook until lightly brown on both sides and serve hot.

{On The 11th Day Of Christmas}

Low-Fat Eggnog

Serves: 6


* 2 cups nonfat milk

* 2 large strips orange and/or lemon zest

* 1 vanilla bean

* 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

* 1/3 cup sugar

* 1 tsp cornstarch

* Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Combine 1.5 cups milk and the citrus zest in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; add the seeds and pod to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl until light yellow. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk to stop the cooking. Transfer the eggnog to a large bowl and place over a larger bowl of ice to cool, then chill until ready to serve. Remove the zest and vanilla pod. Garnish with nutmeg.

{On The 10th Day Of Christmas}

Christmas Rice Pudding

This recipe is known among Swedish folks as "grut". You can eat it with cream poured over it & or a cinnamon stick and one almond in the rice before serving. Whoever found the almond was supposed to get married next, according to tradition.

6-8 Servings
Prep: 10 min. Cook: 70 min.


* 1-3/4 cups uncooked long grain rice

* 2 cups water

* 4 cups milk

* 1-1/2 cups sugar

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 cup butter, cubed

* Sliced almonds and ground cinnamon, optional


•In a saucepan, combine the rice and water. Simmer for 10 minutes; add

milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for

60-70 minutes or until rice is tender. Add sugar, salt and butter;

mix well. Spoon into small bowls or dessert dishes. Garnish with

almonds and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.

{On The 9th Day Of Christmas}

Moo Goo Gai Pan is a great comfort dish for cold winter days – chicken and fresh mushrooms are stir-fried and then finished with a sauce made with chicken stock, oyster sauce and sugar.

A popular restaurant dish, Moo Goo Gai Pan means "fresh mushrooms with sliced chicken."

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes


• 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• Marinade:
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• a few drops sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch


• 1 cup fresh button mushrooms
• 1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots
• 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts
• 2 slices ginger
• 1 garlic clove


•1/2 cup chicken stock*
•2 tablespoons oyster sauce
•1 teaspoon sugar
•1 tablespoon cornstarch


•3 tablespoons oil for stir frying, or as needed


Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. Add the marinade in the order given, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for about 15 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and cut into thin slices. Rinse the canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts to remove any "tinny" taste and drain thoroughly. Slice and chop the ginger, and peel and mince the garlic clove.

Prepare sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat wok and then add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes color and is nearly cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry briefly. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for several seconds, then add bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Stir-fry briefly. Give the sauce a quick restir, then make a well in the middle of the wok and add sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened.

Return chicken to wok. Mix together and serve hot.

*You can also use chicken broth. Just bring it to a boil, add a bit of rice wine for flavor, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Another variation is to boil the mushrooms in the chicken broth before stir-frying.
Source: http://www.about.com/

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

{On The 8th Day Of Christmas...}

Milk Tart

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

(Servings: 16)

The sugary crust dough is pressed into the pie tin and baked. The sweet, milky thick custard filling is then poured into the baked shell, sprinkled with cinnamon and chilled. Makes two lovely pies.


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 pinch salt
* 4 cups milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 cup sugar. Add 1 egg and beat until mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture just until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Press mixture into bottom and sides of two 9-inch pie pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

4. In a large saucepan, combine milk, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from burner.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 1/2 tablespoons flour, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar. Add beaten eggs to sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk mixture into milk. Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 5 minutes. Pour half of mixture into each pastry shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill before serving

(Source: allrecipes.com)

{On The 7th Day Of Christmas...}

Peppermint Float Punch

* 1 gallon vanilla ice cream, room temperature
* Peppermint extract to taste
* Green food coloring (optional)
* 3 to 4 (liter-size) bottles 7-up

To serve, mix ice cream with peppermint extract and green food coloring in a punch bowl. (Very carefully add peppermint extract. one drop at a time - a little goes a long way.) Add 7-Up to ice cream mixture.

NOTE: You can keep adding 7-Up to the punch if you need more volume.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

{On The 6th Day Of Christmas...}

(Eggs-A-Laying Recipe)

Christmas Eggs

An annual tradition! Definite Christmas morning favorite.

* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1½ cups milk
* 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ¾ crushed red pepper
* 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
* 6 slices whole wheat toast


Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and whisk in the milk.

Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly and beating until smooth. Add the cheese, salt and red pepper. stir until the cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly and thick.

Add egg slices and gently stir into the sauce. Heat until hot and spoon over the slices of toast.


A bacon and egg casserole recipe for Christmas morning.

Breakfast Bacon and Egg Casserole

(Serves - 4)


* 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
* 8 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons dry mustard
* 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
* 12 to 16 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese


Place bread in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside. Combine eggs, milk, dry mustard, and dried minced onion; pour over bread. Sprinkle bacon over casserole; cover and refrigerate 8 hours. Remove from refrigerator; let casserole stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered, for 35 to 45 minutes, until set. Uncover, sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let breakfast casserole stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

{On The 5th Day Of Christmas...}

Honey Bubble Ring

Sweet honey-flavored pull-apart bread

Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling

(Servings - 12-15)


* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup chopped pecans
* 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
* 3 tubes (12 ounces each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits


•In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cut each biscuit into four pieces; dip each piece halfway into honey mixture. Layer in a greased 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes; invert pan onto a serving platter.

(Source: TasteOfHome.com)

{On The 4th Day Of Christmas...}

Calling Bird Cut-Out Cookies

These almond feathered cut-out cookies have a sweet glaze and sprinkling of sugar -- elegant and easy.

Preparation time: 1 hr
Chilling time: 2 hrs
Baking time: 6 min

(Yields: 4 dozen cookies)

Cookie Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons orange juice
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup light corn syrup
* 2 teaspoons water

Decoration Ingredients:

* Sliced almonds
* Sugar

Combine all cookie ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes).

Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3 to 4-inch bird-shaped cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets.

Stir together corn syrup and water in small bowl. Lightly brush corn syrup mixture over cookies. Arrange almonds on cookies to resemble wing and tail feathers.

Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheets. While warm, brush again with corn syrup mixture; sprinkle with sugar. Cool completely.

TIP: For traditional cut-out cookies, omit glaze and decorations; decorate as desired with decorator sugars or frosting.

TIP: Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

{On The 3rd Day Of Christmas...}

Cornish Hens for 2


* 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
* 2 Cornish hens
* Cornbread Stuffing, recipe follows
* Olive oil
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the sliced onion in the bottom of a roasting pan. Remove the giblets from the hens, and rinse them inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outsides dry. Place the hens on top of the sliced onion.

Pack the cavities of the hens with the cornbread stuffing.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the hens. Rub the hens with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the hens for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Cornbread Stuffing:

*4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*1 cup yellow onion, chopped
* 2 1/2 cups cornbread
* 1 celery stalk, diced
* 1/4 cup chicken stock
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Break the cornbread into pieces and place the pieces in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture to the cornbread. Add the celery, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix together.

Yields: 2 servings

(source: FoodNetwork.com)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

{On The 2nd Day Of Christmas...}

Turtle Dove Bars

(Makes about 36)


For the crust:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup pecan halves

For the filling:

* 2/3 cup butter
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butterscotch-flavored chips
* 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

2. To make the crust, combine all ingredients except the pecans in a large mixer bowl and beat until well mixed and particles are fine. Press into the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the crust.

3. To make the filling, combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 242 F or a small amount of the mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball. Immediately pour over pecans and crust.

4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. Immediately sprinkle with butterscotch and chocolate chips. Allow to melt slightly (3 to 5 minutes). Swirl chips leaving some whole for a marbled effect.

5. Cool completely and cut into bars.

(source - christmascookies.com)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

{On The 1st Day Of Christmas...}

Partridge in a Pear Tree Pie

Delight guests and have a partridge in a pear tree make an appearance on your holiday table! The crimson cranberry filling makes this a fitting Christmas pie.

6-8 Servings

Prep: 30 min. + cooling
Bake: 40 min.


* 1 can (15 ounces) pear halves, drained
* 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
* 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* Pastry of double-crust pie (9 inches)
* Additional sugar, optional


•Set aside five pear halves; chop any remaining pears. In a large saucepan, combine the chopped pears, cranberries, pineapple and sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until some cranberries have popped. Cool for 30 minutes, stirring several times. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir in
cooled cranberry mixture.

•Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim and flute edges. Spoon cranberry mixture into pastry shell; arrange pear halves on top. Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and crust is golden brown (cover edges with foil for last 15 minutes of baking if necessary). Cool on wire rack.

•Roll remaining pastry. Using cookie cutters, cut out small leaves, small pears and a partridge. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes or
until golden brown. Place partridge in center of pie with leaves and pears around it.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

(Source: Taste Of Home)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

{Sweet Potato Cupcakes}


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp. baking powder
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* Finely shredded orange peel
* Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside.

In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick).

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Place Cream Cheese Frosting in large resealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/4-inch opening in one corner of bag. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with orange peel. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In large mixing bowl beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened, and 2/3 cup butter, softened, with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons bourbon or milk and beat until combined. Beat in 8 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth and of a good piping consistency. Makes 4-1/3 cups.

Friday, November 13, 2009

{3-Ingredient Italian Sponge Cake}

An extremely light and not too sweet Italian cake recipe.

Serves - 8


* 6 eggs, separated
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup cake flour


1. Cut wax paper to fit two 9" round cake pans.

2. Separate eggs, putting whites in large mixer bowl and yolks in small mixer bowl.

3. Add 1/2 c sugar to whites and beat until very stiff.

4. Add 1/2 c sugar to yolks and beat until very thick and light yellow in color.

5. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites.

6. Fold flour in using 1//3 c each time until well mixed.

7. Do not overmix.

8. Pour into prepared pans.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out dry.

10. Cool for a few minutes, remove from pan and remove waxpaper.

11. Cool completely.

12. Fill with a custard cream filling and frost all over with whipped topping or whipped cream.

Friday, November 6, 2009

{Lemon Cake}


* 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
* 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
* 1 3/4 cups water
* 3 egg whites
* 3/4 cup nonfat milk
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
* 1 (1 ounce) package instant sugar-free lemon pudding mix
* 1 (8 ounce) container frozen light whipped topping, thawed


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 10x15 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix and pudding mix. Pour in water and egg whites. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat for 4 minutes. Pour batter into prepared 10x15 inch pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

4. In a large bowl, combine milk, lemon extract and vanilla pudding mix. Beat on low for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cooled cake. Store cake in refrigerator.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

{Orange Cream Dream Cake}

Here's this weeks recent treat...(inspired from the recent Orange Cream Dream Recipe from earlier this week!)

Orange Cream Dream Cake

Serves - 12


* 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package lemon cake mix
* 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unsweetened orange drink mix
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup water
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 2 (3 ounce) packages orange flavor gelatin, divided
* 1 cup boiling water
* 1 cup cold water
* 1 cup cold milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 (3 1/2 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
* 1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake and drink mixes, eggs, 1 cup water and oil; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Pour into an ungreased 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking pan.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Using a fork, poke holes in the cake.

6. Let cool for 30 minutes.

7. In a bowl, dissolve 1 package of jello in boiling water; stir in cold water.

8. Pour over cake; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

9. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, vanilla extract, vanilla pudding mix and remaining package of jello; beat on low for 2 minutes.

10. Let stand for 5 minutes.

11. Fold in whipped topping.

12. Frost cake.

13. Refrigerate leftovers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

{Chocolate Spiders}

What you need:

* 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped

* 1 can (5 ounces) chow mein noodles

* 1 cup salted peanuts

What you do:

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt chocolate. Remove from the heat. Add the noodles and peanuts and stir and fold until the noodles are well coated. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pan. Chill for at least 8 hours, or until ready to serve.

{Baked Miniature Pumpkins}

* 1 small sugar pumpkin

* 1 tsp. brown sugar

* 1/2 tsp. butter

* 2 pinches ground cinnamon

Cut off the top of the pumpkin and scrape out all the seeds. Place the butter and the brown sugar inside the pumpkin & sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Put the pumpkin lid back on and place pumpkin on a baking pan with a little water in the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Makes - 1 miniature pumpkin

{Orange Cream Dreams}

Serves: 4

* 1 c. milk
* 1 c. cold water
* 6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
* 12 cubes ice
* 1 t. vanilla extract
* 1/3 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

{Pink Ribbon Cupcakes}

Pink Ribbon Cupcakes

Bake a Batch for the Cause. Take these to a bake sale to support breast cancer research.

What you need:

* Reynolds® Baked for You Baking Cups (Pink Damask)

* 1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

* 1 container (16 oz.) ready-to-spread white

* frosting* Red food coloring

* Light pink sugar crystals

* Pink fondant


1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

2. PLACE Reynolds Baking Cups in muffin pans; set aside.

3. PREPARE cake mix following package directions for 24 cupcakes. Spoon batter into baking cups.

4. BAKE following package directions (17 to 23 minutes). Cool.

5. TINT frosting pink with red food coloring. Spread the top of each cupcake with tinted frosting.

6. SPRINKLE tops with pink sugar crystals.

7. ROLL out fondant. Cut into strips measuring 4 inches X 1/4 inch.

8. SHAPE fondant strips into ribbon shape. Place on cupcakes.

Tip - You could also just use small strips of actual pink ribbon!

Friday, September 25, 2009

{Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes}

This cupcake has little pockets of grape jelly. The cupcake itself is moist and toothsome, and the chunky peanut butter frosting is smooth and rich without being cloyingly sweet.

This recipe for PBJ cupcakes is from Buttercup Bakes at Home.
PB&J Cupcakes
Makes: 12 to 14 cupcakes

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs, room temperature
* 3/4 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup grape jelly
* Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting (see recipe below)
* Coarsely chopped peanuts or crushed peanut butter cups, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, alternating with the milk. Add the vanilla.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups until each is about two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. When cupcakes are thoroughly cool, fill a squeeze bottle with jelly, and then invert the tip of the bottle into the center of a cooled cupcake. Carefully squeeze about 1 tablespoon jelly into center of cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Frost with Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting, and garnish with roasted salted peanuts or crushed peanut butter cups.

Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting:

Makes: 2 1/2 cups (enough to frost 14 cupcakes)

* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
* 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 tablespoon milk (a few drops more if needed)
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. On low speed, slowly add 1 cup sugar, then a few drops milk. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and mix thoroughly. Add remaining sugar and a few more drops milk if necessary.
3. Increase mixer speed to high, and mix until frosting is fluffy and reaches a good spreading consistency. Use immediately.

{Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies}


* ¾ cup granular sugar substitute
* 1 large egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup creamy trans-fat-free peanut butter
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* ¼ cup sugar-free jam, any flavor


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix sugar substitute, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer set on low for 3 minutes.
3. Add peanut butter and baking soda. Mix on medium until dough comes together, about 30 seconds.
4. Form dough into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation.
5. Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon jam.
6. Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes.
7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

{Peanut Butter Playdough}


* 1 cup Peanut Butter
* 2/3 to 1 cup nonfat dry milk
* 2 tablespoons of honey
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add enough powdered milk to make the mixture dry enough to handle.
3. Shape into balls.
Don't worry if they would like a taste. It's all edible.

{Orange-Scented Playdough}


* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1/2 cup salt
* 2 packages Orange-flavoured Kool-Aid
* 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 2 cups boiling water
* 3 tablespoons oil
1. Mix dry ingredients, add wet.

2. Knead until smooth (careful-- it's hot! may take a minute or two before you can really ditch the spoon and get your hands in there!) You may need to add extra flour for desired consistency.

3. Grab cutters and rollers and whatever other playdough toys you like and have FUN!

{Orange Dust}

(This recipe is an accompaniment for Shrimp with Orange Dust.)

Orange Dust


* 1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil
* 2 navel oranges
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 cup water
* electric coffee/spice grinder

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil with grapeseed oil. Remove zest from oranges with a vegetable peeler and trim any white pith from zest with a sharp paring knife. Bring zest, sugar, and waterto a boil in a 3-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy, about 6 minutes. Drain zest in a sieve and spread out on baking sheet. Bake zest in middle of oven until dry and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack. Grind zest to a powder in electric coffee/spice grinder.

Note: Orange dust can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place up to 1 month.

{Orange Sugar Dust Cookies}

Makes: 36 cookies


* 1 (18 ounce) box orange cake mix
* 1/2 cup oil
* 2 eggs
* 2 tablespoons orange juice


1. Mix well the cake mix, oil and eggs.
2. Using ungreased cookie sheet, drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough on cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.

Optional: Dust with with sugar or frosting

{Got Cookies?}

Sweet Tip Of The Day
Replace your larger cookie jar with a mini pottery jar. Fill it with healthful snacks like walnuts, almonds, and sugar-free cookies!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Makes: 20 cookies


* 1 pkg (8 oz.) sugar-free low fat chocolate cake mix
* 3 tablespoons fat-free (skim) milk
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 10 maraschino cherries, rinsed, drained & cut into halves
* 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
* 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Beat cake mix, milk and almond extract in a medium bowl with electric mixer at low speed. Increase speed to medium when mixture looks crumbly; beat 2 minutes or until smooth dough forms. (Note: Dough will be very sticky.)

3. Coat hands with cooking spray. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly. Place cherry half in center of each cookie.

4. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until cookies lose their shininess and tops begin to crack. Do not overbake. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

5. Heat white chocolate chips and oil in small saucepan over very low heat until chips melt. Drizzle cookies with melted chips. Allow drizzle to set before serving.

Cherry Petites

This recipe is from my grandma's recipe collection.

Grandma Ella's Cherry Petites

Filling ingredients:

* 2-8 oz. cream cheese
* 3/4 c. sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 tsp. vanilla


1. Mix with mixer until creamy.
2. Set aside.


* 1 box vanilla wafers
* 1 can cherry pie filling
* cupcake liners


1. Place 1 wafer in each cupcake holder.
2. Put 1 tsp. filling on top of each wafer.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
4. Once cooked, add 1 tsp. cherry pie filling to each.
5. Enjoy!

{Grandma's Cherry Drop Cookies}

{No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake}

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake


* Graham Cracker Crust
* 1 1/4 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
* 1/4 cup margarine, softened
* 1/4 cup sugar
* filling
* 1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
* 1 (12.5 oz.) can cherry pie filling


1. Mix together Graham Crackers, margarine, and sugar in a bowl until well incorporated and crumbly. Press into a pie plate, going up the sides as much as possible.

2. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and spreadable. Whisk whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour cream cheese into prepared crust. Smooth the top with a spatula, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Spread the cherry pie filling over the top, and refrigerate until serving.

{Cherry Clafouti}

Clafoutis is a baked French dessert that is typically made by baking fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a batter, halfway between a Yorkshire pudding/pancake batter and a custard [1], in a baking dish.

(Source: Wikepedia)

Cherry Clafouti

Makes: 12 servings

* 2 Tbsp, unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
* 2 cups fresh (or frozen, unthawed) cherries, pitted
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* Confectioners sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Fill with cherries.
2. In a blender, combine sugar, eggs, milk, flour, salt, and butter until smooth. Pour batter over cherries in prepared pie plate.
3. Bake until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar. Serve hot.

{National Cherries Jubilee Day!}

September 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day

Cupcake of the Day - Vanilla cupcake with chunks of cherries, topped with a dab of whipped buttercream. (Need I say more!)

Happy National Cherries Jubilee Day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

{Chocolate Zebra Apples}

A chocolately treat for kids of all ages! Perfect for Valentine's, birthdays, Autumn days, etc!

Chocolate Zebra Apples
* 1 Apple
* Caramel
* Milk Chocolate
* White Chocolate
* Dark Chocolate
* Wooden Carmel Apple/Popsicle Sticks
1. Cover a tray with wax paper.
2. Wash and dry apples.
3. Insert a stick into the stem end of each apple.
4. Dip apple in warm carmel.
5. Drizzle apple in white chocolate. Apply in strips. Allow chocolate to harden.
6. Follow up with strips of dark chocolate. Allow to harden & cool.
7. Enjoy!

{Zebra Kiss Cookies}


* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup cooking oil
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* Sifted powdered sugar
* Milk chocolate kisses with stripes


1. Stir chocolate in small heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool. Combine eggs, sugar,
melted chocolate, oil, baking powder, and vanilla in large bowl. Gradually add flour to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Cover; chill 2 hours or until easy to handle.
2. Shape dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in 375 degree F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops cracked. While still hot, press a kiss into the center of each. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 48 cookies.
Make-Ahead Tip: Bake cookies and place kiss in center of each. Cool completely. In an airtight or freezer container arrange cookies in a single layer; cover with a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat layers, leaving enough air space to close container easily. Freeze up to 1 month.

{Black & White Cookies}

What's black and white and craved all over New York? = Luscious chocolate and vanilla iced cookies! They are the size of your hand & are more like small cakes than crunchy or chewy cookies!

Here's a Low-Fat version of the cookie:

Low-Fat Black & White Cookies



* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 2 large egg whites


* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
* 3 tablespoons milk, skim milk or light cream, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (melted chocolate is also acceptable)



1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Set applesauce in a fine sieve to drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

5. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in applesauce, vanilla and lemon juice. Add in egg whites and beat until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth.

6. Drop batter two tablespoonfuls at a time onto the prepared baking sheet. Smooth slightly to form nice, round circles.

7. Bake for 10 minutes, until set but not browned.

8. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


9. When cookies are cool, prepare the icing. Sift 3/4 cup confectioners sugar into two small bowls. Add 1 tbsp milk and the almond and vanilla extracts to one bowl and stir until smooth. Add cocoa and 2 tbsp milk to the other bowl and stir until smooth.

10. Using a small knife and working over the bowls to catch drips, spread each icing over half of each cookie. Set on a rack until icing is set, then store cookies in an airtight container.

{Happy Checkers Day!}

September 23, 2009 is Checkers Day

In honor of this day, challenge a friend to a game of checkers.
Afterwards, enjoy some black & white striped checkered-topped cupcakes!
Happy Checkers Day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

{Sprinkle Some Love!}

Sweet Thought Of The Day
Spread some sweetness by filling a shaker jar full of sprinkles & giving it to a friend or new neighbor!
Note: Be sure to personalize it with a label, poem or tag.
...Hi Neighbor!...or Welcome To The Neighborhood!...Sweetness, Love & Happiness!...
May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness and tied with love.

{Spaghetti Cupcakes}


* 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked & undrained
* 4 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Grease 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine spaghetti, eggs, Parmesan cheese & pepper.
4. Evenly press into muffin cups to form a "crust."
5. Evenly top each cup with spaghetti sauce, then mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Add happy faces using broccoli flourets for hair, eyebrows or noses. Use sliced black olives or pimiento olives for eyes. Pepperoni or sliced tomatoes for mouths. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

{Cupcake Cookies}


* 3 cups graham crackers, finely crushed (about 40 crackers)
* 1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
* 2 cups miniature chocolate chips
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 lb butter, softened
* 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
* vanilla frosting or chocolate frosting
* candied sprinkles'
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Fill small candy liners (smaller than the smallest cupcake liners) with dough.
4. Place side-by-side on cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Cool and frost with white or chocolate frosting.
7. Whatever you do...Don't forget the sprinkles!

{Yummy Goodness!}

Hi all! Just my newest little yummy spot in the great big blog pond. ~K