Showing posts from April, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

I have Annie from Annie's Eats to thank for these Sweet Spring Treats. I found her recipe on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try it sometime. A few days after I found it a friend asked me to make something lemony for her daughters birthday party. It wasn't hard to decide what that would be! For those I used the regualr Lemon Cream Cheese Icing but for me it was way too sweet. So I decided today to try the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting from Martha Stewart that Annie suggested. Wow! What an amzing fluffy frosting! Sweet but not too sweet with just a hint of lemon from the zest. The original recipe asked for vanilla but I wanted the lemon flavor because of the cupcakes so I changed that to lemon zest. And I didn't use as much butter as it asked for. It turned out just right and was kind of like a fluffy cloud. My new favorite! ☺ A little more time consuming maybe, but not difficult and definitely worth it!

For the Cupcakes:
This is a doubled amount of Annies Original and

Mango Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla

Using a Sun Dried Tomato Tortilla and adding an avocado and some Cheddar CoJack cheese to some leftover Mango Chipotle Chicken I made a quesadilla for an easy lunch that was absolutely scrumptious!
Butter 1 large Tortilla chicken and veggies, cut up ½ avocado, sliced thin shredded cheese sour cream
On a skillet melt butter and spread in a big circle. Lay tortilla on the butter then flip over so both sides are buttered. Shred cheese over entire tortilla and place chopped chicken and veggies and avocado over one side.

Heat over medium low heat until cheese is melted and the chicken is heated. Fold the cheese side up over the veggie/chicken side and continue to cook till the tortilla is lightly browned. Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!
Joining the party here:
six sisters stuff, metamorphosis monday ~Be Blessed!~

Bacon Wrapped Mango Chipotle Chicken with Fresh Pineapples and Veggies


round 1
Remember a few years ago when people started marinating chicken for the grill in Italian dressing? Good stuff! We still love that! buuuut, being me, the same thing over and over gets boring, so I've been thinking and looking around, keeping my eyes open for fresh inspiration. Recently at the grocery store I spied some Kraft Mango Chipotle Vinaigrette, and the 'lights' danced a funny jig when I saw this I knew I had to give this a shot. The Chipotle gives it just a little kick but not too much.
. So for round one I marinated some chicken tenders and veggies in this stuff, threaded everything onto skewers with bacon and fresh pineapple chunks and tossed it onto the grill. VoilĂ !! Delicious!!
Then for round 2 (because we had this two nights in a row ☺) because of the unpronounceable ingredients in the bought stuff I decided it wouldn't be real hard to make my own marinade out of fresh, real food. That turned out equally delicious but I forgot the fresh…

My Afternoon Activity and a Teaser

I thought I should prove to anyone who might be wondering,that I do indeed do more around here than experiment in my kitchen. The weather has been pretty much perfect the last few days and I've been working outside. Love it out there!

The walkway that goes off of the patio needed help and the pillars were not there, so I fixed up the walkway and built the pillars this afternoon. It was not a difficult job but it did take a bit of muscle!Those round balls on the top? Heavy!! The sun and the wonderful breeze made a perfect working environment and the bluebirds and the cardinals serenaded me as I worked. Okay they were romancing each other, but I benefited from it. ☺

It's not perfect, I know. But the feeling of satisfaction is nice. And if I end up not liking it I can get rid of it without feeling guilty about $$$ spent. That's the beauty of DIY! ☺

I'll give you a glimpse of something so yummy we ate it two nights in a row (fresh made, not leftovers) last week. The boys …

Peach Pie Tarts

Mini treats

I'm kind of on a 'mini' craze right now. Love making these mini pies and listening to the kids tell me how amazing I am! haha ☺ They love these little things too, and it sure is nice when they're this easy to please.☺
Fresh peaches are not available yet but the ones I froze last year work like a charm for this and they taste like fresh ones. A super easy, quick, and cute dessert to serve for whatever reason.
Pie Crust Shells Frozen Lunchbox Peaches, drained and juice reserved Clear jel, cook type Cool Whip or Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Powdered Sugar
Roll out the Perfect Pie Crust and cut into 4 inch rounds. I cheated... again...and used the bought stuff. Not sure why I do this because the homemade is much better and it really doesn't take that long to make.
Pampered Chef lends a hand here ☺
Make sure you prick the dough with a fork or it will shrink as it bakes. And it works best if the dough is cold and not room temperature. This prevents the gluten …

Fresh Mint Garden Tea - No Boil Method

AAAHHH, Summer!!

 Well almost. The tea is growing nicely in the herb garden and we have been enjoying the fresh mint flavor once again!

Don't know about you but I always think the traditional way of making iced tea is time consuming because you have to heat the water, brew the tea, than cool everything off again. Too many wasted steps, I think. And who has large amounts of refrigerator space (especially in the summer) to cool several gallons of tea at a time. (When I do it that way I think I have to make several at a time to make it worth it.) I was reminded recently of an easier method that brings out a stronger mint flavor and is not heated at all! Lovely! I made some today and everyone said it's better than the regular stuff. Who am I to argue with 5 people?!
Ingredients in bold.
Wash Tea Leaves (stems removed) place in a blender (6 cup size) until it's full then press down gently and fill again to the 5 cup mark. Add water to cover. Blend well. Pour mixture into a half ga…

Bacon Mushroom Onion and Swiss Grilled Burger

~juicy ~ delicious ~

A freshly mixed homemade grilled burger with these toppings was a craving of mine last week. It was a simple fix and super juicy! I had mixed these burgers the week before and frozen them so they were not mixedfreshthesameday but they were a quick fix for a busy week night supper.

2 lbs. 90% lean ground beef 1 large egg seasonings of your choice Mushrooms Onions Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepared Bacon Slices Swiss Cheese Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
I had used things like garlic and herb and other seasonings that give good strong flavor. Mix just until the egg is not visible anymore. Don't overwork the mixture. Form into burgers and freeze or refrigerate if using the same day. They should have ample time in the fridge. Grill over medium high heat until still pink in the middle then remove from the grill and cover and let rest for about five minutes. 
Have the onions and mushrooms ready to saute and while the burgers rest these can be made in a bit of olive oil…

Pumkin Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

I was in the mood to make cupcakes but bored with brown chocolate (doesn't happen often). I also didn't want to use any time or make extra dishes dirty by making icing so I decided on these yummy ones for a fun change from their milk chocolate cousin. I served them to some guests and as they were leaving two of the little girls mentioned that they wanted a few to take along so I figured they must have been good. ☺
1½ cups mashed pumpkin (I used 1 pint of home canned butternut squash) 1½ cups sugar 3 eggs ½ cup olive oil 1 cup AP flour ½ cup Spelt flour 1½ teaspoons baking soda ¾ teaspoon baking powder 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice ¾ teaspoon salt Mix pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and oil together. Add the remaining ingredients. Line a cupcake pan with papers and using a size 30 cookie scoop put 1 scoop into each paper. Put a dollop of filling in the center of each cupcake. Filling: 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 egg ½ cup sugar dash of salt 1 cup white chocolate chips Mix cream c…

Easy Pan Seared Pork Chops

 juicy and delicious!
I find it hard to discipline myself to work in the kitchen when the weather beckons me to come outside in the Spring. I had company coming for the evening and things that needed to be planted, laundry to do, yard to mow, the list was long. You all know how it is I'm sure!! So I'm really on the look out right now for easy, flavor filled meals that the kids will enjoy that don't use up a lot of my time. I had picked up these chops on my grocery run thinking I'll grill them. But it was time to use them and I knew grilling wouldn't really work for this particular evening so I decided to season them and pan fry them. They were so juicy and delicious! All of my family really enjoyed them. I served them with a salad and some leftover Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes and some sweet corn for an easy supper that satisfied the growing boys that sit around my table.

Boneless, Center Cut Pork Chops Coarse Kosher Salt Freshly Cracked Pepper Garlic and Her…

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Glaze Topping


I love the flavors that are in this cake. The chewy-ness of the topping is another thing about it that I love. I was preparing a snack for our small group a few days ago and thought of this recipe. So, because I never make it unless there are extra people around to help eat it I decided it was the perfect opportunity. It was just as delicious as always! The recipe calls for it to be baked in a 9x13 cake pan but I like it flatter so I bake it in a 10½x15½ bar pan.

Ingredients: 1¼ cups boiling water 1 cup quick oats ½ cup butter, softened ¾ cup brown sugar ¾ cup white sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ¾ cup AP flour ¾ cup Spelt flour Pour boiling water over oats and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each, scraping down sides as needed. Add vanilla and the oatmeal mixture and blend together. In a seperate bowl combine dry ingredients a…

Creamy Garlic And Chive Mashed Potatoes

I don't make mashed potatoes very often for various reasons but when I do they are the very traditional ones I grew up eating as a child with butter, milk, salt and pepper being the main ingredients added. This particular night I decided it's time for a change so I put them through a potato ricer instead of mashing them and added freshly crushed garlic and fresh chives for a different flavor. It was a nice change from our usual ones. I served them with the Delicious Pot Roast. I also used some of the rich broth from the roast to make a delicious gravy for them. They were so yummy!
3½ lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 Tablespoons soft butter 1-1½ cups sour cream fresh chives sea salt freshly cracked pepper
In a medium sized saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and cook until soft. Drain and press through a potato ricer. Add the butter and seasonings and stir until butter is melted. Add the sour cream and fold until combined. Serve an…

Delicious Pot Roast

We enjoyed a long weekend in Ohio with my family over the Easter weekend and I did very little cooking which gave me a lovely break, but it also put me in the mood for something scrumptious. So when I made my grocery run to restock the fridge on Monday I picked up a chuck roast for last nights dinner. It turned out super delicious! I forgot to check the weight of it but I'm guessing it was somewhere in the 4-6 lb. range.
Ingredients: 4-6 lb. boneless chuck roast Montreal Steak Seasoning
Olive Oil
8 ounces button mushrooms, washed and stems removed 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
2½ cups water ½ cup burgundy cooking wine 1 Tablespoon beef base
Generously season the roast on all sides with the Montreal Steak Seasoning.

Let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Put about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil into a cast iron pan (or heavy frying pan). Heat the oil, then sear the roast on all sides over high to medium high heat to seal in the juices.
Place into a large crock p…

Ho Ho Cupcakes

This past weekend we had a surprise birthday party for Shawn and I wasn't exactly in the mood for just  another cake so I took a cake recipe that we love and made it into cupcakes. Nothing mind boggling there, but instead of the chocolate icing on the top of the filling that it gets I made a Magic Shell like you use for ice cream and dipped the filling into it for a quick finish. They were so yummy! And the shell was a fun change.

3 cups all purpose flour 2 cups white sugar 6 Tablespoons Cocoa 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons vinegar 2 teaspoons vanilla ¾ cup canola oil 2 cups cold water
Put everything together in a mixer bowl except 1 cup water. Mix; scraping sides as necessary. Add the rest of the water and mix again. Do not over beat. Line cupcake pans with papers and with a size 20 cookie scoop, put a scoop the batter into each paper. Bake @350° for 20 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for a few minutes then remove an…

Another Birthday!

Happy 8th Birthday Serena!

Eight years ago at this time we had been waiting most of the night and would end up waiting all day until 7:30 in the evening for our girly to be born. The endless, boring labors are the things that I try not to remember too much of! But the end results were always so much fun! This time was no different! We have all enjoy having a girl in the family and she is full of life and sunshine! She loves animals and being outside and tagging along with her brothers. They have been known to try to sneak out of the house after whispered plans to try and avoid having to let her come for a tramp in the woods. Is it possible to adore someone and be annoyed with them at the same time? If it is they achieve that at times but mostly they enjoy having her on their treks. They would do just about anything for her.
She is usually happy and loves to be with friends. She loves school and does well academically and looks forward to every day. Loves riding her pony and has Dad pre…

Mini Strawberry Pies and a DIY Danish Dry Mix

Simple, Quick, and Pretty

What's not to like?!
 I thought we were going to have dinner guests today after services and these were to be the dessert. Turns out plans changed at church so we enjoyed these treats for our supper tonight. The boys were impressed and commented on how cute they look.☺

They are super easy. I used bought Pie Crust to save time, but if you are wanting make your own go here for a great recipe. To change things up a bit I decided to bake 4 inch dough circles in muffin pans.

Make sure you poke the holes into the dough. This keeps it from shrinking.

The filling for the pie is also an easy recipe that I blogged last Spring, but with Strawberry season being somewhere just around the corner I will give it to you again because it makes all the difference in flavor and color. I start by mixing my own dry mix which is only 3 ingredients and fail proof.

1 cup clear-jel, cook type
2 cups sugar
2 pkgs. Strawberry Kool-Aid

Mix together well and store in a glass jar with a…